Norman Rockwell gifted the original “The Little Model” to the great-grandmother of the current owner. Credit: Jonathan B. Smith/Courtesy of the Jordan Schnitzer Museum of Art
An oil painting by the legendary Norman Rockwell, titled “The Little Model,” was estimated to be worth $500,000 by an appraiser during the Eugene, Ore., taping of the popular PBS television series Antiques Roadshow. The current owner of the painting explained that the piece had been in his family for at least 90 years, after it was given to his great-grandmother by the artist himself.
“We couldn’t be more excited about such an extraordinary, rare treasure and we look forward to sharing it with America,” said Marsha Bemko, the show’s executive producer.
Rockwell, who depicted American life and culture in the 20th century—mostly on the covers he illustrated for The Saturday Evening Post—painted the picture of a young girl and a dog for a 1919 cover of Collier’s Weekly. Currently on view at the Jordan Schnitzer Museum of Art at the University of Oregon in Eugene, the painting playfully depicts the girl posing in front of a fashion poster.
The $500,000 price tag made the painting the third most valuable item ever to be appraised in the 15-year history of the show.