NEW YORK, NY.-
Todays sale of American Art at Sothebys
New York totaled $28.6 million, and was led by Norman Rockwell's Which One?, a painting that appeared on the cover of The Saturday Evening Post prior to the 1944 presidential election between Democratic incumbent, President Franklin Delano Roosevelt, and Republican challenger, Thomas Dewey. Making its auction debut, the striking depiction of a Cedar Rapids resident contemplating his nominees was pursued by three telephone bidders before selling for $6.5 million (estimate $4/6 million). With his inimitable combination of warmth, wit and humor, Norman Rockwell informed and captivated the average American in 1944, and continues to do so today. In fact, four paintings by the artist collectively brought $10 million today.
Liz Sterling, Head of Sothebys American Art Department noted: Today we saw strong interest in works spanning the full diversity of genres represented in our sales: from Childe Hassams impressionist New York Street Scene, to Milton Averys modern Woman and Orange Mandolin and Albert Bierstadts western picture of Yosemite. We were particularly delighted to establish a new record for Rockwell Kent, who painted Gray Day at the height of his career in the 1930s, and to introduce Norman Rockwells Which One? to auction for the first time. The election-themed painting now ranks among the top auction prices achieved for the artist. We have seen interest in these works from collectors throughout November, as they hung beautifully alongside our Impressionist & Modern and Contemporary Art exhibitions, in addition to our immediate pre-sale show.