Norman Rockwell - 20th Century & Contemporary Art Day Sale, Morning Session New York Thursday, June 24, 2021 | Phillips

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  • Titans of American Storytelling


    The Young Graduate (Big Day) and The Young Graduate come to auction from the formidable collection of storied television producers Thomas Miller and Robert Boyett, who found an affinity with Rockwell’s visual narrative. The legendary couple behind Miller-Boyett Productions developed some of the most influential and iconic sitcoms in television history—from Happy Days to Laverne & Shirley to Full House. The Rockwell pictures that Mr. Boyett and Mr. Miller, who died earlier this year, collected betray a compelling dialogue between three great American storytellers.


    Thomas Miller and Robert Boyett.
    Thomas Miller and Robert Boyett.

    "In each episode of our television shows, we made sure to have characters make some form of human connection. Rockwell did the very same."
    —Robert Boyett

    • Provenance

      The first work: The Fidelity Bank, Philadelphia (acquired by 1986)
      American Illustrators Gallery, New York
      Fitch-Febvrel Gallery, New York (acquired from the above in December 1997)
      Acquired from the above by the present owner in December 1997

    • Literature

      The first work: Laurie Norton Moffatt, Norman Rockwell, A Definitive Catalogue, vol. 1, Stockbridge, 1986, no. A293, p. 378 (illustrated)

    • Artist Biography

      Norman Rockwell

      Few artists have made as much of an impact on the American visual culture as Norman Rockwell. A master draughtsman and a keen observer of the quotidian, Rockwell produced an immense body of work noted for its vivid and loving depictions of the everyday graces of mid-20th century life, providing the pictorial framework for how Americans conceive of themselves then and today. His aspirational paintings lifted the American spirit during its darkest times but to this day reassure people worldwide of the fundamental values universal truths.

      Rockwell’s long and prodigious career began when he was only 22, when he contributed his first cover to The Saturday Evening Post. This precocious achievement presaged not only the artist’s immense successes contributing another 321 covers for this hugely-circulated magazine, the body of work that cemented his status as the leading chronicler of the American experience, but also his crowning as one of the most beloved American artists of all time. The many iconic images Rockwell produced and popularized are ubiquitous records of the American ethos.

      View More Works

Property from the Collection of Thomas Miller and Robert Boyett


The Young Graduate (Big Day) and The Young Graduate: Two works

The first: signed “Norman Rockwell” lower right of image
pencil and gouache on paper
image 9 1/2 x 9 in. (24.1 x 22.9 cm)
sheet 12 1/4 x 11 1/8 in. (31.1 x 28.3 cm)
Executed in 1959.

The second: signed “Norman Rockwell” and numbered “a/p VII/XXXV” lower left and signed “Norman Rockwell” lower right of image
image 20 3/4 x 17 3/4 in. (52.7 x 45.1 cm)
sheet 29 1/2 x 21 3/8 in. (74.9 x 54.3 cm)
Executed in 1959, this work is artist's proof 7 from an edition of 200, plus 35 artist's proofs and 60 unnumbered examples.

Full Cataloguing

$50,000 - 70,000 

Sold for $94,500

Contact Specialist

John McCord
Head of Day Sale, Morning Session
New York
+1 212 940 1261

20th Century & Contemporary Art Day Sale, Morning Session

New York Auction 24 June 2021