Home for Thanksgiving tells the story of a soldier who has returned home from active duty. The woman he is with appears to be his mother. Made just before World War II ended, this is another Rockwell used for the cover of the Saturday Evening Post on November 24th, 1945. At the time, it was suggested that those stationed abroad and coming back to the U.S. would feel more welcome by the cover image, given they were returning home from war.
Unaware that the painting was a Rockwell, a local priest donated the work to the American Legion Post in 1959. It remained shrouded in obscurity until 1982 when a representative for the Norman Rockwell Museum in Massachusetts verified and valued the work at $60,000.
Home for Thanksgiving was Rockwell’s 234th painting for The Saturday Evening Post. Considered one of Rockwell’s most sentimental paintings, the work was sold on auction in Texas for $4.3 million in 2021.
Rockwell’s art was considered integral in helping to form a national identity in the postwar years. However, the Rockwell work that set a record in 2013 was “Saying Grace” (1951), which sold for an incredible $43 million at Sotheby’s.
See more about Home for Thanksgiving here.
Read more about Norman Rockwell here.
Discover other Thanksgiving-related art on Academia Aesthetics here.