The burgeoning market for Norman Rockwell saw further success at Christie's New York on May 22, with The Rookie (Red Sox Locker Room) selling for $22.5m as top lot in the American Art auction.
The work is a quintessentially American example of Rockwell's iconic work, showing a new Boston Red Sox recruit arriving at the ground.
With Rockwell known for his use of real-life models, seasoned veterans from the team, Frank Sullivan, Jackie Jensen and Sammy White all travelled to the artist's studio to pose for the work.
The legendary Ted Williams is also featured, but was painted from photographs.
"The renewed demand for these uniquely American works of art is evidenced by their increasingly strong prices in recent seasons and this particular painting, capturing America's favorite pastime, will surely have wide ranging appeal among collectors," commented Christie's American art specialist Elizabeth Beaman.
The market for Rockwell is riding a crest of success at the moment, following the record sale of Saying Grace at Sotheby's last year. On Wednesday (May 32), the charming After the Prom made $9.1m, achieving a 13.1% pa increase on its last sale in 1995.
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