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.
"Rosie" doesn't do much for me ... sorry, just not to my taste. The other two are excellent.
I love the way he snuck the reference to Michaelangelo right in under their noses, though.
bump. Nice thread. I love illustrators...Alan Lee (LOTR), Tasha Tudor, Garth Williams (Charlotte's Web and Little House books)...
Give him credit for that. But even so, it strikes me as "canned" (as opposed to fresh). It's not a real person ... not even in an abstract sense. It's a stereotype. The "original" Breaking Home Ties painting bothers me the same way. Those aren't real people, they don't have a story ... they're cardboard cutouts. Even the dog. Rockwell's father, son, and dog come to life. Just like the Dutch Master paintings are coming to life as the art student examines them.
The guy on the right looks like he just struck out, and their last guy is at bat. From the looks on the faces of the other guys, there is probably a tying run about to be stranded on base.
The Hovenden painting has a very detailed story. The problem is you don't speak the language any more.
And then there wuz another picter called "Breakin' Home Ties."- Marietta Holley, Samantha at the Fair
A crowd always stood before that.
It wuz a boy jest a-settin out to seek his fortune. The breakfast-table still stood in the room. The old grandma a-settin' there still; time had dulled her vision for lookin' forward. She was a -lookin' into the past, into the realm that had held so many partin's for her, and mebby lookin' way over the present into the land of meetin's . . . But in the mother's face you can see the full meanin' of the partin' . . .
You turn away, glad you can't see that last kiss.
The "art student" in the Dutch Masters painting is Rockwell himself. He often included his likeness in his work.
If you ever get the opportunity, do yourself a favor and go to the Norman Rockwell Museum in Stockbridge, Mass. My wife and I were fortunate enough to be there when all four of the "Four Freedoms" paintings were in-house. Many of his works are hung there, and it is a great treat to be able to sit and view them. More info can be found at http://www.nrm.org/ , the museum's webpage.
That is a clever and touching use of the art of Norman Rockwell. I think he would have approved.
For the reference of other readers, the original piece is titled The Marriage License (see below) and is a magazine cover that Norman Rockwell did for the June 11, 1955 issue of the Saturday Evening Post.
It may interest you to know that the young couple who posed for Rockwell were engaged to be married.
I tried to bring up a site where more than one or two of his illustrations could be viewed but didn't have any luck. Would you have a link or two?
I have never seen that last work you posted of violence in #30. Can you tell me more about it? The stoic image on the white man's face as he faces the shadows of the attackers is quite powerful. I don't see that on the cover of the Post (and the proportions are wrong).
Rockwell did a series of civil rights paintings - this is by far the darkest. Which is why I chose it - to show that he's far from "just an illustrator."
The use of color (or lack thereof, except for the splash of red on the kneeling man's shirt) and lighting is spectacular.
It's in the museum at Stockbridge.
***There are only two lasting bequests we can give our children; one is roots, the other, wings. - anonymous***
Love that quote! A similar one is, "Hold your children close to you with open arms." I don't know who the author is.
I have never seen that eerily lit painting by Norman Rockwell although I am familiar with other works in his series about the Civil Rights Movement. Southern Justice (Murder in Mississippi) is very impressive.
My favorite Rockwell work of that period is "The Problem We All Live With" (see below) that he completed earlier in 1964 which is also on exhibit at the Norman Rockwell Museum in Stockbridge, MA. I was always fascinated with this piece because of the amazing story of courage shown by little six-year-old Ruby Bridges depicted in the painting.
No, it is not Brittany Spears sorta thing... I promise..
Your father does nice work.
Rockwell was thinking all the time about things like that.
The girls are naked as jaybirds -- yet still manage to exude a quality of modesty, as though they were all surprised in their bath, or something.
And me? I've seen that painting before but only now do I find myself identifying strongly with the father. I know what's in his heart. With a few deft brush strokes Rockwell wrote a book about it.
Disclaimer: Opinions posted on Free Republic are those of the individual posters and do not necessarily represent the opinion of Free Republic or its management. All materials posted herein are protected by copyright law and the exemption for fair use of copyrighted works.