Skip to comments.'Hidden' Rockwell sold for £7.9m[$15.4M]
Posted on 12/01/2006 7:58:54 AM PST by FLOutdoorsman
The original of a Norman Rockwell painting found behind a fake wall has fetched a record $15.4m (£7.9m).
Breaking Home Ties by the US artist was first sold to cartoonist Donald Trachte in 1960 for $900 when the two were neighbours in Vermont.
But Mr Trachte made a replica of the painting and hid the genuine piece in a cavity in his studio.
The original was discovered by Mr Trachte's sons after he died last year and sold at Sotheby's in New York.
In April, David and Donald Trachte Jnr noticed a strange gap in the wall of a room in their late father's house.
They gave it a shove and the wall slid open to reveal the real Rockwell along with other paintings.
Mr Trachte apparently kept the switch a secret, and his sons believe he made the copy to prevent his wife - whom he divorced in the early 1970s - from claiming the 1954 work.
"I think he just wanted to tuck these in the wall for his kids," Donald Trachte Jnr said at the time of the discovery.
Experts and Mr Trachte's family were confused by apparent inconsistencies between a version of the painting which appeared on the cover of The Saturday Evening Post in 1954, and the canvas they assumed was the original.
Poor preservation and sloppy restoration work were blamed until the discovery of the real painting solved the mystery.
Rockwell's paintings are popular in the US. The most paid for a piece before Thursday's auction was $9.2m (£4.7m) - in May this year.
Okay, so it ain't the Missing Carravaggio but it's still an interesting (and all-american) story.
As long as it wasn't one of his Saturday Evening Post Christmas covers (I read he grew to hate having to do the same Dickens theme every year, but it's what the readership demanded).
Ping to you.
This can't be true. The 'arts & crossaint' crowd deemed Norman Rockwell an 'illustrator' years ago, therefore, it couldn't be a 'painting', but merely an 'illustration'. ~gag~
Just saw an exhibit about him at our local high school, New Rochelle HS. We can claim him as one of our own as he lived and had studios here for many years.
I remember reading that he did not object to being called an illustrator rather than a painter. I'm not sure about the "technical" aspects or differences, but I don't think he cared enough about his detractors to let them bother him.
There are only two lasting bequests we can give our children; one is roots, the other, wings. - anonymous
60 Minutes did a show on 'art' a few years back. They had all these weirdo 'artists' showing what they considered 'art' and people who were considered 'artists'. One 'art' object was a toilet seat within a picture frame. Many others, including a painting by an elephant, were just as insane. Anyways, when Leslie Stall asked them if Norman Rockwell was accepted in their circle as an 'artist', all agreed that he was not, just merely an 'illustrator'.
Love your quote underneath the pic.
I wish I could illustrate that well.
Nobody I know uses the word "fetched" any more - except when referring to the actions of a dog.
I like that word.
ditto! Rockwell is and always have been an 'artist' in my mind. I love his paintings.
Let Sam Cree, Woofie, or me know if you want on or off this art ping list.
I've always liked Rockwell. What ever happened to the replica of this painting? Does the family still have it?
I happen to think elephant art, and some of the other animal art, is exactly that:art. Studies of these particular animal artists seems to show that they are genuinely trying to express some idea, rather than futzing around with a brush their keeper handed them. Human-generated "art" that looks like the stuff the animals do, on the other hand, is just scribbling. Art is (loosely) defined as sophisticated skill or that which is produced by sophisticated skill. Renaissance and Romantic paintings would qualify, as would most classical and romantic sculpture.
That is some remarkably good art -- it tells quite a story.
They're quite refreshingly uncynical and ironic. And if most Po Mo artists could paint/draw this well, they would... and its making them eat their hearts out.
John Alan Maxwell is my favorite American illustrator.
He was my father.
This is one of my favorite paintings, "Dodgers Dugout." Not as detailed as a Rockwell, but also tells a story.
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