Rockwell's After the Prom at $12m in landmark American art auction

Following world record results in December 2013, Sotheby's will offer one of Norman Rockwell's best-loved works, After the Prom, in a landmark sale of American Art.

Norman Rockwell After the Prom
The theme of young love runs throughout Rockwell's best-loved works

To be held on May 21 in New York, the auction presents some of the most significant examples of American art on the current market, with the likes of Milton Avery and Georgia O'Keeffe also appearing.

Valued at $8m-12m, After the Prom has been part of the same collection after it was bought for $800,000 at Sotheby's in 1995. The recent estimate from Sotheby's highlights the ever-increasing value of Rockwell works, with are riding high on the market at the moment.

The painting is one of Rockwell's most enduring images, after first appearing on the cover of the Saturday Evening Post on May 25, 1957. It was first brought to auction two decades ago from the collection of Thomas Rockwell, the artist's son.

Also featuring from Rockwell is Willie Gillis in Convoy, a painting of a young soldier being transported in the back of a military vehicle, valued at $1.5m-2.5m.

Estimated at $2.5m-3.5m is Georgia O'Keeffe's Lake George Barn, one of 14 paintings of barns surrounding the farmhouse of her husband, Alfred Stieglitz. A quintessentially American work, it symbolises "the heartland of the country, its agrarian roots and its puritan work ethic", according to Sotheby's.

Milton Avery's glowing March and Sally Outdoors - never before seen in public - holds an estimate of $2-3m, but may well exceed this come sale day due to its recent discovery.

It was purchased by the vendor's mother directly from the artist in 1950 and has never been made available to scholars.

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