Norman Rockwell’s painting sold for $46 Million at Sotheby’s
(Fabian Schroeter, Exclusive Gavel)
Norman Rockwell’s painting “Saying Grace” sold for $46 million -a record for works by the late artist and for a single American painting -Wednesday at Sotheby’s American Art auction.
Rockwell is remembered most as the illustrator of The Saturday Evening Post, where he captured Americans’ day-to-day lives.
“We are thrilled — it’s a really great moment for American art and for Rockwell,” Elizabeth Goldberg, head of the American Art Department at Sotheby’s, said.
“Saying Grace,” which features a boy praying with an elderly woman in a crowded restaurant, was originally estimated to go for $20 million before the auction. The selling price nearly tripled Rockwell’s previous auction record, “Breaking Home Ties” which sold for $15.4 million in 2006, according to Sotheby’s.
Seven of Rockwell’s paintings sold Wednesday came from the family of Kenneth J. Stuart Sr. — a longtime friend of the artist, and art editor at The Saturday Evening Post — and nearly totaled $60 million, according to Sotheby’s.
The other top two Rockwell sales were “The Gossips,” which had a pre-sale estimate of $6 million to $9 million and sold for a little under $8.5 million, and “Walking to Church,” which had a pre-sale estimate of $3 million to $5 million and sold for a little over $3.2 million.
“Saying Grace” originally appeared on the Thanksgiving issue cover of The Saturday Evening Post in 1951. The painting hung in Stuart office and later on was transferred to the family dining room, according to Sotheby’s catalog.
Who was Norman Rockwell:
Norman Perceval Rockwell (February 3, 1894 – November 8, 1978) was a 20th-century American painter and illustrator. His works enjoy a broad popular appeal in the United States for their reflection of American culture. Rockwell is most famous for the cover illustrations of everyday life scenarios he created for The Saturday Evening Post magazine for more than four decades. Among the best-known of Rockwell’s works are the Willie Gillis series, Rosie the Riveter, The Problem We All Live With, Saying Grace and the Four Freedoms series. He is also noted for his work for the Boy Scouts of America (BSA), producing covers for their publication Boys’ Life, calendars, and other illustrations.