Rockwell Painting of Newsroom Sold for $10.2 Million


Nearly 50 years after it was donated to the National Press Club, Norman Rockwell’s painting of a provincial American newsroom is the gift that keeps on giving.

The organization garnered $10.2 million dollars when it sold “Norman Rockwell Visits a Country Editor” to an anonymous bidder over the phone at Christie’s Auction Thursday in Rockefeller Plaza.

The proceeds were slated to go to the National Press Club and the National Press Club Journalism Institute, both of which are non-profit organizations that will use the earnings for scholarships and training in journalism.

The painting, which first appeared in the May 25, 1946 issue of the Saturday Evening Post, depicts Rockwell with a portfolio under his arm at the Monroe County Appeal, a weekly founded in 1867 in Paris, Missouri. The piece was subsequently gifted to the club in 1967 and has been on public display at its Washington D.C. location for the last 17 years.

Though the work was expected to reap up to $15 million, its selling price still makes it the fourth-highest price for a Rockwell work by auction. Bidding started at $5 million and quickly jumped to $10.2 million ($11,589,000 including all fees). The winning bid was secured over the phone by Christies Deputy Chairman Maria Los.

“Saving Grace” surpassed its $20 million estimate when it sold for $46 million in 2013 and became the auction record for a Rockwell painting.

“We’re gratified that this bucolic portrayal of a small-town newspaper newsroom from the mid-20th century has lived up to its estimated value,” said John Hughes, President of the National Press Club, in a statement. “The impact of the club’s stewardship of this great work will pay dividends far beyond what the artist might have imagined,”

National Press Club officials attributed their decision to sell the painting to rising insurance and security costs.

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