The Norman Rockwell museum has a curious problem, according to AOL’s Daily Finance site:
Over 40 years, the museum has grown to 740 Rockwells, acquired through purchases and donations. The first purchase was in 1975: a 1963 assignment for Look magazine called The Problem We All Live With, depicting Ruby Bridges, a six-year-old African-American girl, being escorted by U.S. marshals to her first day at an all-white school in New Orleans. The museum paid $35,000 for it.
Prices like that are ancient history. The most recent sale of a Rockwell original at Sotheby’s came in December, when The Dough Boy and His Admirers sold for $662,500 — more than four times the presale estimate.
Given the run-up, the Norman Rockwell Museum is undoubtedly sitting on a gold mine. (Plunkett declines to put a value on the collection.) But the escalation actually presents a challenge. “We’ve been priced out of our own market,” Plunkett says. The museum can no longer acquire major original works. Its tremendous success in building Rockwell’s presence has hurt its ability to build its own collection.