Norman Rockwell painting makes auction debut at Freeman’s Dec. 6

Norman Rockwell painting

Norman Rockwell (American, 1894-1978), ‘The Melody Stilled by Cold,’ Estimate: $300,000-$500,000. Freeman’s image

PHILADELPHIA — Freeman’s will hold its much-anticipated signature American Art & Pennsylvania Impressionists sale on Sunday, Dec. 6, which will showcase a large number of American 20th-century icons such as Norman Rockwell, John Singer Sargent, Fitz Henry Lane, Horace Pippin and Bessie Potter Vonnoh. The auction will begin at 2 p.m. Eastern time. Bid absentee or live online through LiveAuctioneers.

It will also be an excellent opportunity for collectors to acquire the finest examples of paintings by Pennsylvania Impressionists. December’s sale will offer numerous works by two of the movement’s greats, Daniel Garber and Edward Willis Redfield as well as George Sotter, Walter Schofield and Fern Coppedge.

Norman Rockwell’s 1929 painted advertisement The Melody Stilled by Cold (above; $300,000-$500,000) will make its auction debut with Freeman’s. The painting, commissioned by Capitol Boilers & Radiators, shows a violinist interrupting his tune to warm his hands. It is an early example of Rockwell’s achievement in blurring the line between advertisement and fine art.

Rockwell Kent’s Wake Up! (also titled Wake Up, America!) (below; $200,000-$300,000) will also be on offer in this sale. The painting is a rare piece by Kent, who was an anti-war advocate and served as a rallying cry to urge the United States to partake in World War II and fight fascism.

Norman Rockwell painting

Rockwell Kent (American, 1882-1971), ‘Wake Up!’ Estimate: $200,000-$300,000. Freeman’s image

Masters of Pennsylvania Impressionism

Bidders will have the chance to bid on a remarkably strong selection of Pennsylvania Impressionist works in this sale which includes eight works by Daniel Garber, six by Edward Willis Redfield and three by George Sotter.

Highlights include Daniel Garber’s The Last of Winter ($250,000-$400,000). The painting is a testament to Garber’s attention to detail, from the boy walking home to the vines inching across the house’s side. An important early work by Garber, announcing his pivotal landscapes of the late 1910s, this work was widely exhibited during the artist’s career. It was in the private collection of Harold D. Saylor, Garber’s most loyal patron, along with four other works in the sale, including a Redfield.

Norman Rockwell painting

Daniel Garber (American, 1880-1958), ‘The Last of Winter.’ Estimate: $250,000-$400,000. Freeman’s image

Garber enthusiasts should take note of Weatherby’s Oak (Lot 72; $200,000-$300,000), which last appeared at auction 25 years ago. Meanwhile, Edward Willis Redfield is well represented in the sale, with paintings such as At the Crossroads (below; $150,000-$250,000). Winter scenes of rural Pennsylvania like Crossroads are among the most beloved works by Redfield.

Norman Rockwell painting

Edward Willis Redfield (American, 1869-1965), ‘At the Crossroads,’ Estimate: $150,000-$250,000. Freeman’s image

The sale is full of other exceptional Pennsylvania Impressionist paintings, including Mary Elizabeth Price’s Mille Fleurs (below; $60,000-$100,000)  and another Redfield piece, Grey Brook  (Lot 85; $100,000-$150,000).

Norman Rockwell painting

Mary Elizabeth Price (American, 1877-1965), ‘Mille Fleurs’ (A Thousand Flowers). Estimate: $60,000-$100,000. Freeman’s image

Freeman’s previous American Art & Pennsylvania Impressionists auction set new world auction records for William Langson Lathrop and Jackson Lee Nesbitt. Lathrop’s The Bonfire more than quadrupled its high estimate of $25,000, crossing the block for $112,500. Overall, the auction enjoyed an impressive 95% sell-through rate, raising the bar for the already prestigious series.

For detail contact Alasdair Nichol, chairman and head of fine art at


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