Top Lot: Lot 30, Norman Rockwell, The Rookie (Red Sox Locker Room), oil on canvas, Painted in 1957. Price Realized: $22,565,000. Image courtesy of Christie’s Images Ltd
ART AUCTION: The Rookie, an oil on canvas by Norman Rockwell Sold for $22,565,000 at Christie’s American Art Sale
NEW YORK, NY— At the end of Christie’s sale of American Art in New York Thursday, Norman Rockwell’s The Rookie led the art auction, fetching $22,565,000. The oil on canvas painted in 1957 allows an insight into the Boston Red Sox Locker Room. It features a tall scrawny rookie, who seems lost in a locker filled with professional baseball players.
The Rookie is one of the 323 covers Rockwell produced for the Saturday Evening Post. The sale of The Rookie is another marker in the recent unprecedented attention given to artworks by Norman Rockwell by art auction houses in the last five years. Rockwell who died in 1978 never got the needed and well –deserved attention from art auction houses during his life time. Just recently, one of works Saying Grace was sold for 46 million dollars at Sotheby’s.
During Christie’s auction of American Art in New York, 167 lots were offered, and 115 sold, achieving $64,006,000. Besides The Rookie, several other Rockwells featured prominently, achieving great results. Liz Sterling, Head of American Art, commented, “The strong result of this sale confirms the continued strength of the market for American Art, with all sectors of the category having performed well.
Norman Rockwell’s The Rookie led the sale at $22.6 million, an all-American illustration, which is the second highest price for the artist at auction and the highest price of the season. Western art also saw top prices, with Thomas Moran’s masterwork The Grand Canyon of the Colorado achieving $12.5 million. Fresh-to-the market works with esteemed provenance commanded top prices; five lots from the Estate of Edgar Bronfman realized a total of $2,357,000, led by Milton Avery’s The Mandolin Player. We look forward to the sale of An American Dynasty: The Clark Family Treasures on June 18, in which works by John Singer Sargent and William Merritt Chase are among the top lots.”
Below is a list of the top ten art auction results. It shows the estimates and the final art auction prices of the artworks sold during the Christie’s American art sale. All sold prices include buyer’s premium
- Norman Rockwell, The Rookie (Red Sox Locker Room), oil on canvas. Painted in 1957. Estimated at 20,000,000 – 30,000,000. Sold for $22,565,000, £13,313,350, €16,472,450. US Private
- Thomas Moran, The Grand Canyon of the Colorado, oil on canvas. Estimated for 8,000,000 – 12,000,000. Sold for $12,485,000, £7,366,150, €9,114,050. Anonymous
- Stuart Davis, Anchors, oil on canvas. Estimated for 1,500,000 – 2,500,000. Sold for $1,805,000, £1,064,950, €9,114,050. Anonymous
- Edward Hopper, Coast Guard Boat I, watercolor and pencil on paper, Executed in 1929. Estimated for 1,000,000 – 1,500,000. Sold for $1,745,000, £1,029,550. €1,317,650. Michael Altman
- Milton Avery, Siesta, oil on canvas. Estimated at 1,000,000 – 1,500,000. Sold for $1,565,000, £923,350, €1,273,850. US Private
- Milton Avery, The Mandolin Player, oil on canvas laid down on board. Estimated at 800,000 – 1,200,000. Sold for $1,445,000, £852,550, €1,142,450. Anonymous
- Norman Rockwell, Spirit of America, oil on canvas. Painted in 1974. Estimated 300,000 – 500,000. Sold for $1,085,000, £640,150, €1,054,850. Private Collection, New York
- Norman Rockwell, The Collector, oil on canvas. Painted in 1971. Estimated at 700,000 – 1,000,000. Sold for $965,000, £569,350, €704,450. Michael Altman
- Winslow Homer, A Shady Spot, Houghton Farm, watercolor and gouache on paper. Estimated at 600,000 – 800,000. Sold for $965,000, £569,350, €704,450. US Private
- Francis Augustus Silva, October on the Hudson, oil on canvas, Painted circa 1873. Estimated at 700,000 – 1,000,000. Sold for $941,000, £555,190, €686,930. US Private