Gramps at the Plate by Norman Rockwell

This image is striking because it’s unexpected–who thought they’d see Grandpa up playing ball?  It seems like grandfathers are often pictured in big, musty armchairs, probably with a newspaper and a good pipe.  But this grandpa, while defying stereotypes, is only embracing his role ever more strongly.  Oh, he’s definitely a grandfather figure.  He’s quite portly and distinguished (and knows it), and what hair he still has to his name has lost its color long ago.  But we see him with a certain spunk and spirit which I’m sure most of us can remember in our grandpas, but which we rarely see portrayed in art.  And we see him loving his grandson by really entering into the boy’s life and joys–and bringing joy to him.  His grandson is truly radiant.  Of course, Gramps keeps up his perfectly dignified persona the whole time in a possibly grumpy, but absolutely lovable manner.  I remember my grandpa walking me and my siblings to the park each day to play, wearing exactly the same countenance and creating one of my most treasured memories.  I’m glad Norman Rockwell immortalized that, and so many other people’s grandpa memories, with Gramps at the Plate.



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