"Portrait of Honora Gifford"   Lot no. 3495

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By Norman Rockwell (1894-1978)

1960 (Estimated)
16.00" x 15.00;" Framed 18.25" x 17.25"
Oil on canvas, mounted to masonite
Signed Lower Right

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As discussed briefly in the book(s) Norman Rockwell: A Definitive Catalogue and in further depth elsewhere... this is one of a series of portraits that Rockwell did at the Peggy Worthington Best studio in Stockbridge, Massachusetts. Interesting historically because... reading a little bit between the lines here... like most accomplished illustrators, Rockwell got a little tired of “being Norman Rockwell” the Best Studio sessions allowed him to loosen up and approach picture-making with a little bit of a different approach than would have been his norm. Rockwell is so often saddled with monikers along the lines of “America’s storyteller” that it’s refreshing to see him relaxed and showing his abilities beyond a compelling narrative.

Explore related art collections: $20,000 - $50,000 / Portraits / Women as Subjects

See all original artwork by Norman Rockwell



The pictures of Norman Perceval Rockwell (1894-1978) were recognized and enjoyed by almost everybody in America. The cover of The Saturday Evening Post was his showcase for over forty years, giving him an audience larger than that of any other artist in history. Over the years, he depicted there a unique collection of Americana, a series of vignettes of remarkable warmth and humor. In addition, he painted a great number of pictures for story illustrations, advertising campaigns, posters, calendars and books.

            As his personal contribution during World War II, Rockwell painted the famous “Four Freedoms” posters, symbolizing for millions the war aims as described by President Franklin Roosevelt. One version of his “Freedom of Speech” painting is in the collection of the Metropolitan Museum of Art.

            Rockwell left high school to attend classes at the National Academy of Design, and later studied under Thomas Fogarty and George Bridgeman at the Art Students League in New York. His two greatest influences were the completely opposite titans Howard Pyle and J.C Leyendecker.

            His early illustrations were done for St. Nicholas magazine and other juvenile publications. He sold his first cover painting to the Post in 1916, and ended up doing over 300 more. Presidents Eisenhower, Kennedy, and Johnson sat for him for portraits, and he painted other world figures, including Nassar of Egypt and Nehru of India.

            An important museum has been established in Stockbridge, Massachusetts, where he maintained his studio. Each year, tens of thousands visit the largest collection of his original paintings extant.