.Norman Rockwell's "Saying Grace" appeared on the cover of the Saturday Evening Post on Nov. 24, 1951
From the NY Times:
Rockwell Painting Sells for $46 Million
By CAROL VOGELPublished: December 4, 2013
Three of Norman Rockwell’s best-known paintings of homey, small-town America, which are among the most popular of the artist’s Saturday Evening Post covers, sold at Sotheby’s American Art auctionon Wednesday morning for a total of more than $57 million.
Another favorite, “The Gossips,” a finger-wagging montage that included Rockwell’s friends, neighbors and even the artist himself, painted in 1948, sold for $8.45 million. (When the Saturday Evening Post cover ran on March 6, 1948, the magazine was flooded with inquiries from readers wanting to know what the heads were gossiping about.)
The third major painting in the sale, “Walking to Church,”brought $3.2 million and was purchased by Rick Lapham, an American paintings dealer, on behalf of a client. Mr. Lapham was one of only two bidders for the painting. It appeared on the cover of the Saturday Evening Post in 1953, and was based on the Vermeer painting “The Little Street.” Rockwell translated the scene to his own urban street setting, depicting family members in their Easter best, each clutching Bibles, from a composite of different buildings in Troy, N.Y., and a church steeple in Vermont.
Asked why there was not more competition for the painting, Mr. Lapham replied, “It’s stylistically different,” referring to Rockwell’s translation of an old master painting.
The paintings had belonged to the magazine’s longtime art director, Kenneth J. Stuart, who received them as presents from the artist. They were being sold by his three sons.