‘The Pharmacist’ in Alexandria, Virginia

'The Pharmacist'

American painter and illustrator Norman Rockwell is the first name that comes to mind for many people when they think of art that captures “slices of life.” His cover illustrations for The Saturday Evening Post included some of the most iconic images of everyday American life during the early 20th-century. 

One such image, entitled “The Pharmacist” graced the cover of the magazine on March 18, 1939. The illustration features a pharmacist with mortar and pestle sitting atop an open book, presumably a medical tome of some sort, concocting a cure for a sick child. The young boy stands next to him, looking up expectantly and holding a cloth over his mouth, apparently ill and seeking relief.

These characters have been brought to life as a sculpture that stands just to the right of the doors of the National Community Pharmacists Association in Old Town Alexandria. The figurative public sculpture is the work of Alexei Alexiev and was dedicated in 2008 according to a plaque that is affixed to the wall behind the sculpture.