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Portrait of Jackie Kennedy

Portrait of Jackie Kennedy
signed 'Norman Rockwell' (lower right)
oil on canvas laid down on panel
14 1/2 x 11 3/4 in. (36.8 x 29.8 cm.)
Painted in 1963.
Martin Diamond Fine Art, New York
Andy Warhol, New York, acquired circa late 1960s-1970s
Estate Andy Warhol, New York
Their sale; Sotheby's, New York, 29 April 1988, lot 2835
Acquired by the present owner from the above
The Saturday Evening Post, October 26, 1963, p. 42 (illustrated).
M. Moline, Norman Rockwell Encyclopedia: A Chronological Catalog of the Artist’s Work, 1910-1978, Indianapolis, 1979, pp. 124-25, no. 2-84 (illustrated).
L.N. Moffatt, Norman Rockwell: A Definitive Catalogue, vol. II, Stockbridge, Massachusetts, 1986, p. 809, no. S690 (illustrated).
J. Yau, In the Realm of Appearances: The Art of Andy Warhol, Hopewell, New Jersey, 1993, pp. 5-6.
M. Manning and H. Romerstein, Historical Dictionary of American Propaganda, Westport, Connecticut, 2004, p. 252.
exh. cat., Andy Warhol, Queensland Art Gallery, 2007, p. 101.
D. Solomon, American Mirror: The Life and Art of Norman Rockwell, New York, 2013, p. 410.
D. Solomon, “American Enigma,” Smithsonian: Secrets of American History, October 2013, p. 88.
D. Miller, "Rockwell, Warhol, and Warhola: A Conversation with James Warhola about Three Generations of American Illustrators at the Norman Rockwell Museum", DC Theater Arts, 8 June 2017 (illustrated).
"Rockwell and Warhol in Unique Pairing at Norman Rockwell Museum", The Rogovoy Report, 8 June 2017 (illustrated).
C. McQuaid, "Warhol and Rockwell: American Idolmakers", The Boston Globe, 15 June 2017.
D. Stewart, "Stockbridge’s Very Odd Couple: A Rockwell-Warhol Retrospective", Greenfield Recorder, 19 July 2017.
B. Chadwick, "Who Would Think to Pair Andy Warhol and Norman Rockwell?", History News Network, 4 August 2017.
K. Abbott, "Andy Warhol Meets Norman Rockwell in the Berkshires", BTW Berkshires, 17 August 2017.
C. Giuliano, "The Odd Couple Warhol and Rockwell: Populism as Commonality Explored at Rockwell Museum," Berkshire Fine Arts, 12 October 2017.
California, Simi Valley, Ronald Reagan Presidential Library, Norman Rockwell Paints the Presidents and the America They Governed, January-May 1999.
Massachusetts, Stockbridge, Norman Rockwell Museum, Inventing America: Rockwell and Warhol, June-October 2017 (illustrated on the cover).

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Kathryn Widing
Kathryn Widing Vice President, Senior Specialist, Head of 21st Century Evening Sale

Lot Essay

Norman Rockwell defined American popular culture in the first half of the 20th century. As the nation’s preeminent illustrator, Rockwell produced more than 800 magazine covers and advertisements for over 150 companies. Most memorable was his long-standing relationship with The Saturday Evening Post, a weekly periodical read by millions. Over the course of more than fifty years, the artist illustrated 322 covers and many more story illustrations for the magazine. His final painting published in the Post, Portrait of Jackie Kennedy of 1963 is not only a culmination of Rockwell’s indelible influence in American culture, but also his importance as a predecessor to the Pop artists of following generations—notably underscored by Andy Warhol acquiring the present work for his own personal collection.
The latter years of Rockwell's career were defined by his series of portraits of well-known Americans, including Presidents Kennedy, Nixon and Eisenhower and celebrities such as Judy Garland, Frank Sinatra and John Wayne. Portrait of Jackie Kennedy was painted for the October 26, 1963 issue of the Post to accompany an article about “How Jackie Restyled the White House.” The painting shows a softly smiling Jackie in her quintessential pearls posing in front of a classic view of the White House façade. In her time as First Lady, Jackie had persuaded Congress to designate the White House as a museum, garnering additional donations to the art collection and attracting double the number of visitors as in prior years. In the article, she explained, “Like any President’s wife, I’m here for only a brief time. And before everything slips away, before every link with the past is gone, I want to do this” (The Saturday Evening Post, October 26, 1963, p. 43).
Jackie’s statement would prove eerily prescient, as less than a month following its publication, she would be beside her husband during the infamous November 22, 1963 motorcade in Dallas where John F. Kennedy was assassinated. Rockwell’s 1963 portrait preserves the pre-tragedy optimism of Jackie as First Lady, acting as a precursor and foil to Andy Warhol’s haunting Jackie series begun in 1964, which was based on newspaper photographs taken around the time of the fateful shot. The Rockwell and Warhol portraits thus present two sides of the tragic turning point in the life of Jackie Onassis Kennedy, and one of the most profound moments in modern American history.
In 1968, Warhol encountered Rockwell’s paintings at the illustrator’s first major show in New York at Bernard Danenberg Galleries, which helped establish Rockwell within the art world establishment. Deborah Solomon writes, “With the rise of Pop Art, Rockwell was suddenly in line with a younger generation of painters whose work had much in common with his—the Pop artists had returned realism to avant-garde art after the half-century reign of abstraction. Warhol, too, came in to see the gallery show. ‘He was fascinated,’ Danenberg later recalled. ‘He said that Rockwell was a precursor of the hyper-realists’” (D. Solomon, “American Enigma,” Secrets of American History, October 2013, pp. 86, 88). In the next few years, Warhol would acquire Rockwell’s Portrait of Jackie Kennedy for his own art collection.

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