Skip to main content
Go to accessibility notice

    Description

    Norman Rockwell (American, 1894-1978)
    The Revolution that Started in a Shed at Night, Ford Motor Company Fiftieth Anniversary advertisement study, circa 1950
    Oil on photographic paper
    12-3/8 x 10-1/2 inches (31.4 x 26.7 cm) (image)
    Initialed lower right: N / R

    PROPERTY FROM A DISTINGUISHED NORTH CAROLINA COLLECTION

    PROVENANCE:
    Private collection, North Carolina;
    By descent to the present owner.

    LITERATURE:
    L.N. Moffatt, Norman Rockwell: A Definitive Catalogue, Vol. 1, Stockbridge, Massachusetts, 1986, p. 389, no. A318a, illustrated.

    Norman Rockwell painted eight historical works for The Ford Motor Company, in celebration of the company's 50th anniversary in 1953. The present work is a study for one of the four paintings of the series in which Rockwell depicted the early days of the automobile. Here, Rockwell envisions Henry Ford in 1896, building his first automobile in the small brick shed behind his rented home on Bagley Avenue in Detroit, Michigan. The scene is actually fantastical and idealized, since the car was actually designed by Ford with several friends at a nearby electric station. In this interpretation, Rockwell paints Ford working on a last adjustment, as his wife Clara looks on while darning socks in the corner.

    When prints were made of this painting, the following text was added underneath: "Henry Ford worked night after night for years while his wife, Clara, darned socks and cheered him on, and the family cat dozed in the corner. Then, about 2 a.m. on a wet June night in 1896, he trundled the little car out in the rain and ran it round the block. That first Ford car still runs."

    The final version of this composition, also known as Henry Ford and the Horseless Carriage, is in the collection of the Henry Ford Museum, Detroit, Michigan. That work was reproduced in the 1953 Ford Motor Company commemorative calendar and as part of the "American Road" ad series in the August 3rd, 1953 issue of Life magazine.




    Condition Report*: Sheet is secured to mount along top edge and measures 12.75 x 11 inches; vestiges of old adhesive in upper left margin; sheet is slightly undulating along bottom edge and extending into center of work; under UV light, there appears to be no inpaint; framed under glass. Framed Dimensions 20 X 18 Inches
    *Heritage Auctions strives to provide as much information as possible but encourages in-person inspection by bidders. Statements regarding the condition of objects are only for general guidance and should not be relied upon as complete statements of fact, and do not constitute a representation, warranty or assumption of liability by Heritage. Some condition issues may not be noted in the condition report but are apparent in the provided photos which are considered part of the condition report. Please note that we do not de-frame lots estimated at $1,000 or less and may not be able to provide additional details for lots valued under $500. All lots are sold "AS IS" under the Terms & Conditions of Auction.

    Auction Info

    Auction Dates
    November, 2018
    8th Thursday
    Bids + Registered Phone Bidders: 8
    Lot Tracking Activity: N/A
    Page Views: 1,693

    Buyer's Premium per Lot:
    25% on the first $250,000 (minimum $49), plus 20% of any amount between $250,000 and $2,500,000, plus 12% of any amount over $2,500,000 per lot.

    Sold for: Sign-in or Join (free & quick)

    Heritage membership

    Join Now - It's Free

    VIEW BENEFITS
    1. Past Auction Values (prices, photos, full descriptions, etc.)
    2. Bid online
    3. Free Collector newsletter
    4. Want List with instant e-mail notifications
    5. Reduced auction commissions when you resell your
      winnings 
    Consign now
    • Cash Advances
    • More Bidders
    • Trusted Experts
    • Over 200,000 Satisfied Consignors Since 1976
    Consign to the 2019 November 2 Texas Art Signature Auction - Dallas.

    Learn about consigning with us

    I was very pleased with the results and with the professionalism of Alissa and Heritage Auctions! I will definitely auction with them again.
    Phyllis R.,
    Laramie, WY
    View More Testimonials

    HA.com receives more traffic than any other auction house website. (Source: Similarweb.com)

    Video tutorial

    Getting the most out of search

    Recent auctions

    2014 November 21 Tiffany, Lalique & Art Glass Signature Auction
    2014 November 21 Tiffany, Lalique & Art Glass Signature Auction
    REALIZED $1,441,296
    2014 November 17 American Art Signature Auction
    2014 November 17 American Art Signature Auction
    REALIZED $6,712,638
    2014 November 14 American Indian Art , Pre-Columbian, & Tribal Art Signature Auction
    2014 Nov 14 American Indian Art, Pre-Columbian & Tribal Art Auction
    REALIZED $441,524
    2014 November 8 Modern & Contemporary Art Signature Auction
    2014 November 8 Modern & Contemporary Art Signature Auction
    REALIZED $5,683,719
    2014 November 6 Silver & Vertu Signature Auction
    2014 November 6 Silver & Vertu Signature Auction
    REALIZED $439,980
    2014 October 18 The Belo Collection of Texas Art Signature Auction
    2014 October 18 The Belo Collection of Texas Art Signature Auction
    REALIZED $624,835
    2014 October 16 Photographs Signature Auction
    2014 October 16 Photographs Signature Auction
    REALIZED $824,108
    2014 September 28 Nature & Science Signature Auction
    2014 September 28 Nature & Science Signature Auction
    REALIZED $1,089,341
    2014 Sept 13-14 Gentleman Collector Signature Estate Auction
    2014 Sept 13-14 Gentleman Collector Signature Estate Auction
    REALIZED $1,725,292
    2019 April 23 Illustration Art Signature Auction - Dallas
    2019 April 23 Illustration Art Signature Auction - Dallas
    REALIZED $2,477,033