Veterans organization sells Norman Rockwell painting for $ 4.3 million – ARTnews.com
The Massachusetts branch of the American Legion Post, a veterans services organization, sold a Norman Rockwell painting to Heritage Auctions last week for $ 4.3 million. Title Home for Thanksgiving (1945), the painting was sold in Dallas, Texas, and was being auctioned off to raise funds for the organization, which said it was facing financial fallout as a result of the pandemic.
As with some of Rockwell’s most famous works, this painting was originally commissioned for the magazine cover of the Saturday night message. Rockwell’s art often features middle-class white Americans and was seen as integral to the formation of national identity in the postwar years.
In Home for Thanksgiving, a returning soldier is shown helping to peel potatoes with a woman who appears to be his mother. The painting was done just before the end of World War II; his subject was suggested to Rockwell by the artistic director of the Saturday night To post, who expected those stationed overseas to return to the United States soon.
According to Gardner News, The American Legion Post obtained the work in 1959, when a local priest donated it with a donation of $ 500. However, most visitors were unaware that the painting was a Rockwell, and some even felt it was a reproduction and not an original. It was not until 1982 that a representative from the Norman Rockwell Museum in Stockbridge, Massachusetts, verified that the work was bona fide Rockwell and valued its valuation at $ 60,000.
Despite the work’s relatively unusual history, the painting barely fell within its estimate of $ 4-7 million. Its price is also far lower than the largest ever auctioned for a Rockwell painting. Rockwell’s record was set in 2013, when his painting Say grace (1951) sold for $ 43 million at Sotheby’s.