The First Art Newspaper on the Net   Established in 1996 Thursday, April 2, 2020

Phillips to offer Norman Rockwell's 'Before the Shot' on 14 November
Norman Rockwell, Before the Shot, 1958. Estimate: $2,500,000-4,500,000. Image courtesy of Phillips.

NEW YORK, NY.- On 14 November, Phillips will offer Norman Rockwell’s Before the Shot, marking the first time that a work by the iconic American illustrator will appear in an Evening Sale of 20th Century & Contemporary Art, as well as the first time that one of his paintings will be offered at Phillips. The work has never before been sold publicly, having remained in just two families’ collections since it was painted, the first of which was Rockwell’s own doctor and the model for the painting.

Elizabeth Goldberg, Senior International Specialist of American Art and Deputy Chairwoman, Americas, said, “We are honored to introduce Norman Rockwell’s paintings to Phillips’ auctions by including this masterwork in our November Evening Sale. While Rockwell has traditionally been offered in sales of American Art, we are eager to break down the barriers that separate these collecting categories and reexamine the way that these different voices of the 20th century are classified. Before the Shot is one of the most recognizable paintings by one of America’s most iconic artists. This November, Rockwell’s name will be rightfully positioned alongside other international 20th and 21st century masters, including Joan Miró, Pablo Picasso, Andy Warhol, Joan Mitchell, and Jean-Michel Basquiat.”

One of Rockwell’s most well-known paintings, Before the Shot is a nostalgic and humorous reflection of American culture in the 1950s, elevating the commonplace to the remarkable. Nearly identical to the version gracing the cover of the March 15, 1958, issue of The Saturday Evening Post, the picture depicts a child standing on a wooden chair in a doctor’s office, awaiting an impending shot and uneasily inspecting the diplomas on the wall as the physician prepares a syringe.

While Before the Shot betrays a sense of chance encounter, it was actually a picture of much consideration for Rockwell. Typical of his working process for his most important paintings, Rockwell painted Before the Shot from a series of photographs that he directed as scrupulously as one would a film shoot. The source images were taken inside Dr. Donald Campbell’s office in Stockbridge, Massachusetts, Rockwell’s home from 1953 until his death in 1978. Dr. Campbell, Rockwell’s own physician, served as the model for the doctor, and eight-year-old Eddie Locke, who Rockwell selected from the lunchroom at Stockbridge Plain Elementary School, posed as the patient. Locke would later model for Rockwell’s popular painting The Runaway. The artist’s practice of selecting his neighbors, instead of professional models, to pose for his paintings lends his work an authentic sense of Americana and pays homage to the everyday middle-class existence in post-war America.

The doctor-patient relationship is one that Rockwell knew intimately; in addition to his wife’s and his own medical treatments, Rockwell had three young boys at the time, who no doubt provided him with much opportunity to study children apprehensively interacting with doctors. Rockwell gave the completed work to Dr. Campbell, who later sold it to another family, in whose collection it has remained ever since. For the past thirteen years, the work was generously on loan to the Norman Rockwell Museum, where it was enjoyed by countless visitors. The painting’s power lies in its amusing relatability; as Rockwell has acknowledged, "I guess everyone has sat in the doctor's office and examined his diplomas, wondering how good a doctor he was...” It is this communal experience that makes Before the Shot a hallmark image of American culture, as relevant today as it was in 1958.

Today's News

October 20, 2019

Egypt unveils trove of ancient coffins excavated in Luxor

Elizabeth Taylor's personal treasures set for auction block

Keith Haring mural cut out of New York stairwell heads to auction

Ed Clark, pioneering Abstract Expressionist painter, dies at 93

A passion for drawing: The Albertina Museum exhibits drawings from the Guerlain Collection

The Phillips Collection features projections and sculptural portraits by the Los Carpinteros collective

Christie's announces highlights included in its Fine Chinese Ceramics and Works of Art auction in London

Marc-Arthur Kohn to sell the interior of a castle whose decor was designed in the 1950-60s by Erté

Phillips to offer Norman Rockwell's 'Before the Shot' on 14 November

US-French comic book tackles mass shootings with superheroes

National Gallery of Australia launches new learning gallery and studio

Two solo exhibitions of new work by Vik Muniz on view at Sikkema Jenkins & Co.

Art Deco & Beyond: A celebration of 20th century jewellery at Sotheby's Geneva this November

A Louis XV silver tureen to lead Sotheby's October Auctions of Furniture & Decorative Arts in New York

Exhibition celebrates twenty-fifth anniversary of Fundación Botín's Visual Arts Grants

'Anila Quayyum Agha: Between Light and Shadow' transforms Toledo Museum of Art galleries

$4 U.S. coin worth $200,000 to be auctioned

Beaverbrook Art Gallery highlights contemporary Atlantic art in exhibition

Perrotin opens an exhibition of works by Takashi Murakami

Exhibition examines successive generations of African American artists

Dallas Museum of Art premieres new works by Wanda Koop and Sandra Cinto

Nobel Committee member defends Handke pick

Uruguay's national ballet stretches to new artistic heights

Ballet Philippines battles Disney, typhoons and poverty to endure

5 Must-have Devices for Hardcore Gamers

Museums, Exhibits, Artists, Milestones, Digital Art, Architecture, Photography,
Photographers, Special Photos, Special Reports, Featured Stories, Auctions, Art Fairs,
Anecdotes, Art Quiz, Education, Mythology, 3D Images, Last Week, .


Ignacio Villarreal
(1941 - 2019)
Editor & Publisher: Jose Villarreal
Art Director: Juan José Sepúlveda Ramírez

Royalville Communications, Inc
Founder's Site. The most varied versions
of this beautiful prayer.
to a Mexican poet.

The First Art Newspaper on the Net. The Best Versions Of Ave Maria Song Junco de la Vega Site Ignacio Villarreal Site
Tell a Friend
Dear User, please complete the form below in order to recommend the Artdaily newsletter to someone you know.
Please complete all fields marked *.
Sending Mail
Sending Successful