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American art achieves $46 million at Sotheby's; 10 works by Norman Rockwell total $20 million
Norman Rockwell, Willie Gillis in Convoy. Est. $1.5/2.5 million. Sold for: $2,285,000. Photo: Sotheby's.

NEW YORK, NY.- Today’s auction of American Art at Sotheby’s New York achieved $45,869,625 (est. $33.2/49.7 million)* – among the highest totals for an American Art sale in the last five years**.

- Today’s sell-through rate of 80.7% by lot marks the 5th consecutive American Art auction at Sotheby’s with a strong sell-through rate over 80%

- Ten lots brought prices over $1 million, with more than half of all sold lots achieving prices above their high estimates – including eight of the auction’s top ten works

- Ten works by Norman Rockwell totaled $20 million, meeting their combined pre-sale high estimate

o Led by After the Prom, which sold for $9,1,250,000 – the 4th highest price at auction for the artist (est. $8/12 million). The work was last acquired at Sotheby’s New York in 1995 for $880,000.

o Willie Gillis in Convoy brought $2,285,000, benefiting Gardner High School in Gardner, Massachusetts – the work had been gifted by Rockwell to the school’s principal in 1951

o Sotheby’s has achieved 9 of the top 10 prices at auction for Rockwell, including the record price of $46 million set in December 2013 by Saying Grace

- Milton Avery’s March and Sally Outdoors, which has never been exhibited in public or published in scholarship on the artist, set a new auction record for Avery when it sold for $5,653,000 – well in excess of its $3 million high estimate o Acquired by the present owners’ mother directly from the artist in 1950 – the year it was painted o Sotheby’s now holds 4 of the top 5 auction prices for the artist

o One of four artist records set in today’s auction

- Georgia O’Keeffe’s Lake George Barn fetched $2,965,000 (est. $2.5/3.5 million). The work had remained in the same private collection since 1988, and had not been exhibited publicly since 1989.

- The selection of 19th century works on offer were highlighted by Albert Bierstadt’s Yosemite Valley from 1865, which surpassed its high estimate of $1.5 million to sell for $2,517,000

** Sotheby’s December 2013 American Art auction total of $83.9 million marks the highest result for a sale of American Art at any auction house since May 2008

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