Rosie the Riveter moves to Arkansas

The soon(ish)(maybe)-to-be-opened Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art in Bentonville has acquired Norman Rockwell’s Rosie the Riveter painting for its permanent collection, according to an announcement released yesterday.

Rosie the Riveter is an iconic image of American pop culture, born during the World War II era as a promotional representation of the women who took jobs in war factories and other labor-intensive industries while many of America’s men were off to war.

Norman Rockwell
Rosie the Riveter, 1943
Oil on canvas
52 x 40 in. (132.1 x 101.6 cm)

Painted for the cover of the May 29, 1943 edition of The Saturday Evening Post, Rockwell’s Rosie eventually became an icon in itself and in 2002 sold for $4,959,500 according to Sotheby’s.

Crystal Bridges obtained the painting from a private collector for an undisclosed amount of money, but considering it went for nearly $5 million the last time it was sold, it’s a fairly safe bet to say that this painting set the Walton-funded museum back at least a thousand dollars or two. Or three, maybe.

There’s still no word on when the 100,000 square foot complex will be finally be open to the public. The original summer 2009 date was pushed to 2010 and as ADG’s Tracie Dungan notes, that date has since been removed from the Crystal Bridges website. In other words, your guess is as good as ours.

For more information on Rosie the Riveter, visit

Image courtesy of The Saturday Evening Post. Photography by Dwight Primiano.