Norman Rockwell Charcoal Self-Portrait, ca. 1976
I was an Eagle Scout, I had Boys' Life, and I was always infatuated with Norman Rockwell. And there's a small art gallery south of Kansas City, and this gentleman kind of specialized, had a lot of Rockwell, and I bought my first signed Rockwell print.
Oh, okay, that's nice.
And I would take it back and people would see it in the house, my friends, "Can I get one of those? Can I get one of those?" You know? So, frequently, when I went to Kansas City, I had an order for "bring another one back." And after several years, I think it was in the mid-'80s, he said, "I've got a Rockwell rendering that you might be interested in." He said none of his family were interested in this piece. He wanted to have someone that really appreciated Rockwell to have it. He had wrote a biography of Norman Rockwell, and he had sent the biography to Rockwell to approve, and Rockwell was really pleased with it. And he sent back this rendering to go inside the cover of the book. The price was reasonable. I'm thinking it was $500 or less.
It's classic Rockwell, with his pipe and over his drafting board. It's a very exciting piece, and although Rockwell did do other images of himself, the story behind this is just terrific, and I think the book is called A Rockwell Portrait: An Intimate Biography. It was published in 1978. So this would have been done probably a year or two before that. His claim to fame is his wonderful depiction of American life—both nostalgic, I think, and sensitive.
He's perhaps best known for his Saturday Evening Post covers. He also did covers for other magazines, including Boys' Life. He was also involved in portrait commissions. And then in terms of self-portraits, he did do several, and of course he did a number of drawings, including doodles of himself. In terms of value today, if this were being sold in a gallery that would generally handle Rockwell, we would expect it to sell at $35,000. (laughing)
Wow. It's... it's... it's not for sale. (laughing)
Well, I know that, but if it... And in terms of insurance, you would probably insure it for around $40,000.
$40,000, that's awesome.
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