Permanent Collection

Norman Rockwell (American, 1894 – 1978)

Second Holiday


Oil on canvas
33 ¾ x 47 ¼ in.
Purchased with funds from the Morton R. Hirschberg Bequest

Second Holiday, created in 1939, accompanied a short story of the same title by Richard Sherman that appeared in American Magazine. It told the story of the Yeamans, an elderly couple whose doctor advises them to travel to the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota from their hometown of Lethana. Treating this trip as a “holiday,” they proceeded with elaborate plans for their vacation and regaled their neighbors with details of their impending trip, as this was only their second time out of Lethana in more than 40 years. The reader soon learns that Mr. Yeamans is aware of the seriousness of Mrs. Yeamans’ illness, yet he refuses to acknowledge this fact to her. The reader then learns that Mrs. Yeamans also knows her fate and, in turn, is protecting her husband from the bad news.