Monday, May 05, 2014

Norman Rockwell painting of Red Sox "The Rookie" in the Locker Room being shown at Fenway Park May 5 prior to auction at Christies in NYC

4/29/14, "Peter Rockwell, son of painter Norman Rockwell, points to his father's 1957 painting "The Rookie (Red Sox Locker Room)" on display at the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston for six days in Boston, Massachusetts April 29, 2014, before being offered at auction at Christie's May 22. The painting, which appeared on the cover of the March 2, 1957 "Saturday Evening Post," includes former Boston Red Sox players Ted Williams (top center), Jackie Jensen (bottom center) and Bill Goodman (R) as well as local high school student Sherman Safford who Rockwell asked to pose as the Rookie. Christies estimates the value of the painting to be $20-$30 million. REUTERS/Brian Snyder"

5/5/14, "Rockwell painting of Red Sox being shown at Fenway," AP

"A Norman Rockwell painting of Boston Red Sox players is being shown at Fenway Park on Monday before it is taken to New York City to be auctioned.

The painting, "The Rookie (Red Sox Locker Room)," appeared on the cover of the March 2, 1957, issue of the Saturday Evening Post. Christie's is offering it May 22 with a pre-sale estimate of $20 million to $30 million, which the auction house says represents that highest auction estimate ever for Rockwell.

The painting shows pitcher Frank Sullivan, right fielder Jackie Jensen, catcher Sammy White, second baseman Billy Goodman and Hall of Famer Ted Williams. The seasoned, confident players are seen facing an awkward newcomer arriving in the locker room for spring training — dressed in a crumpled suit and a battered bowler hat while also clutching a suitcase, baseball bat and gloves.

On Monday, Sullivan and Rockwell's model for the rookie, Sherman Safford, will be with the painting at Fenway.

Safford was a high school athlete from the western Massachusetts town of Pittsfield when he was asked to model for Rockwell. Williams, nearing the end of his career, was the only player who did not pose for the painting in Rockwell's hometown of Stockbridge, and the artist had to rely on baseball cards and photographs for the details of his face.

The anonymous owner acquired it in 1986, and it has remained in the same private collection since then.

The painting was exhibited for six days at the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston until Sunday. It was previously on show there in 2005 and 2008, following World Series victories by the Red Sox.
In December, Rockwell's 1951 "Saying Grace" sold at Sotheby's for $46 million. It set an action record for the artist."

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