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    Description

    NORMAN ROCKWELL (American 1894-1978)
    Freedom of the Press: Poor Richard's Almanac, c.1930
    Oil on canvas 32in. x 27in.
    Inscribed lower right (not contemporaneously): Norman Rockwell
    Signed on canvas fragment attached on stretcher bar: Norman Rockwell
    Photocopy of letter from Norman Rockwell to Mr. Yotnakparian dated March 6, 1973 accompanies this work.
    Viewed and accepted by Laurie Moffat, Director of the Rockwell Museum.
    Provenance: the collection of Mr. Yotnakparian, c. 1973; Roughton Galleries, Dallas, Texas

    Freedom of the Press (also known as Poor Richards Almanac) may also have been intended as part of Rockwell's original Freedom series, however it was never used. The painting belonged to the same family for over 50 years. In an accompanying photocopy of a letter from Norman Rockwell to the owner, Rockwell wrote "I did the picture . . . when I lived in New Rochelle. I don't remember who posed for Ben Franklin, but I know the printer in back of him was one of my favorite models, Fred Hildebrandt."

    Norman Rockwell is America's most beloved illustrator of the 20th century. Renowned for his idyllic images of daily life in small town America, Rockwell explained in his autobiography, "I paint life as I would like it to be." Rockwell was born in New York City into a family of humble circumstances. In 1903, his family moved to Mamaroneck, New York a suburban town in Westchester County where they resided in a succession of boarding houses. While still in high school, Rockwell decided to pursue a career as an illustrator, and in 1908, he commuted to New York City to study at the Chase School of Fine and Applied Art. At the age of 15, he quit high school and enrolled in the National Academy of Design. However, he found the Academy's curriculum was geared toward the fine arts, and Rockwell left after a year to study illustration at the Art Students League under George Bridgman and Thomas Fogarty.

    The most comprehensive collection of his work can be found at the Norman Rockwell Museum in Stockbridge.

    Condition: original, unlined canvas on original stretchers, areas of inpaint in Franklin's arm, shoulder, and letter. Inpaint above 2nd man's head, lower right corner, and middle upper left edge. Signature on front fluoresces under blacklight, but the signature on back fragment does not fluoresce. It appears that several years ago the painting was trimmed to fit in a frame and the original signature is now affixed to the verso stretcher bar. The painting was later resigned lower right.


    Condition Report*: Condition report available upon request.
    *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.

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    Auction Dates
    October, 2004
    31st Sunday
    Bids + Registered Phone Bidders: 14
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