Three Norman Rockwell paintings sold for a combined $57 million Wednesday at Sotheby’s in New York. One painting, “Saying Grace” sold for over $46 million, a record for a Rockwell painting.
“Saying Grace” depicts a woman and a boy praying over a meal in a diner. The painting was housed on loan at the Norman Rockwell Museum in Stockbridge, Massachusetts for over a decade. Museum spokesman Jeremy Clowe says it represents a central theme in Rockwell’s work.
“You see the family at the dinner table saying their prayers, and onlookers looking with a little bit of disbelief, but also just accepting, and being able to tolerate different views,” says Clowe.
Clowe says he’s not sure if the paintings will be loaned back to the museum by their new owners. The previous record sale for a Rockwell was for the painting “Breaking Home Ties” which sold for over 15 million dollars in 2006.