Just an update...remember that copy of the Bay Psalm Book I wrote about a couple of weeks ago? Well, it sold for the relative bargain price of $14,165,000 to a gentleman called David Rubenstein, described as a philanthropist.
It was enough, however, to make it the most expensive printed book ever sold.
Much more astonishing was the sale of a 1951 Norman Rockwell Saturday Evening Post magazine cover painting for 46 million dollars, making it by far a record for the painter. What possessed someone to suddenly pay three times the previous auction record for a work by this artist? It's the old story of the auction: get two determined bidders with deep enough pockets together chasing the same prize, and fireworks can erupt.
The winning bidder is anonymous, but I'm gonna take a flyer and finger Alice W. and her Crystal Bridges, and if I'm right then there is that damn'd irony again. The losing bidder was in Japan, reportedly.
In my opinion Norman Rockwell might be essentially the first and best Photoshopper ever, long before Photoshop. Technically, his method was to make photographic seeing clean, presentable, programmatic and sensible—and that he rendered it in a "painterly" fashion goes without saying.
But then, my opinion is that Vermeer was the first photographer, so my opinions are kinda out there.
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Featured Comments from:
Bob Burnett: "David Rubenstein is a co-founder of The Carlyle Group, an American-based global asset management firm, based in Washington, D.C. He was featured in the ESPN 30 for 30 documentary 'There's No Place Like Home' as a serious contender bidding at auction for James Naismith's original rules of basketball. The winning bid was $4.3 million, at the time (2010) the highest price ever paid for sports memorabilia. I won't ruin the story any further in case you want to watch the doc."
Kenneth Tanaka: "Re: the Rockwell book, good suggestion! I bought it a few years ago and it's fascinatin'. Beyond its behind-the-scenes-ness it's also a pretty good instructional piece. By vividly illustrating how Rockwell built scenes, often from composites of several photographs, the author Ron Schick provides a bit of a seminar on emotional image construction. I highly recommend it!"