Iconic Rockwell of John Wayne comes at auction

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  • The painting graced the cover of Country Gentleman magazine in the summer of 1976, commissioned by the National Cowboy Hall of Fame and Western Heritage Center to celebrate Wayne’s induction into the Hall of Great Western Performers.

    While best known for his animated pictures of everyday life in America, Norman Rockwell also had an enduring connection with Hollywood. He painted a number of movie illustrations and posters, including the 1966 remake of Stagecoach - the original 1939 film that coincidentally led to John Wayne's first major break-out role. Rockwell even won a bit part in the 1966 film, getting a taste of the big screen first hand. In addition to John Wayne, Rockwell also painted John F. Kennedy, Jack Benny, Gary Cooper, Bing Crosby, and Bob Hope.

    In his depiction of John Wayne, Rockwell gathers a warm palette of bold colors and multiple horizon lines, measuring Wayne up with the grand landscapes he so naturally stood against in many of his films. The editors of Country Gentleman magazine noted this, saying that Wayne's “rocklike visage challenges the great faces on Mt. Rushmore”.

    Fresh to the auction market, after being purchased by a private collector, its appeal is undeniable for lovers of classic American storytelling - it tugs on a rope of epic proportions where fine art and film are tightly clove hitched together.

    In 1978, only a few years after completing the portrait, Norman Rockwell passed away. During that time John Wayne was one of the many celebrities that commented publically on Rockwell and his favorite paintings. The following year, "The Duke" passed away, making this painting a timely tribute to two American legends. Madison Webb, Auction Coordinator at Jackson Hole Art Auction reflects, "What Norman Rockwell did for Americana and illustration, John Wayne did for the American West in film. Two titans of their respective industries, Rockwell and Wayne both developed a devout following and left an indelible mark on the American landscape."

    Bidsquare is no stranger of fast shooting competition in the realm of Fine American and Western Art, as it has also served as the exclusive online bidding partner for The Coeur d'Alene Art Auction for four consecutive years. The upcoming catalogs at Jackson Hole Art Auction featuring this monumental example from a familiar genre comes as a welcomed feeling for Allis Ghim, the CEO of Bidsquare, "Jackson Hole Art Auction has been recognized as one of the premier art auction houses in the country. We are excited to have such an iconic piece by Norman Rockwell, listed exclusively online on Bidsquare. It is a testament to the strength of our platform, as well as the quality of collectors that Bidsquare can bring to reputable auction houses."

    The auction was held back on September 15th.

    Kevin - Moderator/Administrator
    Official JWMB online store

    3,488 times read

Replies 10

  • Hello and welcome to the board, bretmac.

    When posting, at the bottom of the post, you see "Smilies" "Attachments" and "Settings". Click on "Attachments". Then click "Upload". A window should open with your files. go to the folder you have the picture in and click it. It will give you choices on how you want it added. Pick your choice.

    I do hope this helped.

  • I know well the folks who run that auction and I attribute it more to expediency than anything suspect. I wish they would use the online catalog to post images of every label and diagnostic characteristic of each lot, but they do not. Caren pretty much does it all on her own, and there are just too many lots in a two day sale (plus an online only offering) for one person to do.

    To answer your question, I do no think the hat sold is the 'Lucky Hat' so many of us are aware of. If, the paperwork had been shared, maybe we might have determined it was an identical one he had. The way he felt about the real one, I doubt he would have given it away considering his penchant for basically warehousing and preserving his personal film pieces.
  • stairstars, do you think the Auction house was negligent in not described and providing enough information about the hat? Or do you think there is a chance it is NOT the hat from his movies?


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