Norman Rockwell’s painting “Saying Grace” sold for $46 million at Sotheby’s American Art auction. That was a record for works by the late artist and for a single American painting. The 1951 oi which depicts a boy praying with an elderly woman in a crowded restaurant, was originally estimated to go for $20 million before the auction.
The other top two Rockwell sales were “The Gossips,” sold for just under $8.5 million, and, “Walking to Church,” fetched a little more than $3.2 million. The three paintings, which had long been displayed in a Massachusetts museum named for the artist, were among 10 Rockwell works sold at auction. Seven of Rockwell’s paintings sold at auction 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 previous auction record for an American artwork was set in 1999, when George Bellows’ painting “Polo Crowd” sold at Sotheby’s for $27.7 million.