The tale of Rockwell’s ‘Lazybones’

Would you leave $1 million on your coffee table for a week? A year? A few decades? Maybe… if it didn’t quite look like $1 million.


That was the case with the Grant family, only it was a Norman Rockwell painting hanging on the wall of their New Jersey home. As The New York Times reported, the work by the American master had a place in the living room so conspicuous that it often appeared in the background of family Christmas photos.

Then in 1976, the Grants returned home to find the painting gone, taken by a burglar. The FBI would later learn the piece had found its way to an antiques dealer, who had it for years before realizing it was not a print, but an original painting.

Last year, on the 40th anniversary of the theft, the FBI issued an appeal for information related to the missing artwork. That’s when the dealer called law officials and handed the Rockwell over to the FBI, which promptly returned it to the family. (The Times points out the dealer does not face criminal charges.)

Earlier this year, the Grants decided not to keep the Rockwell on their walls. Instead, they will offer Lazybones to collectors at auction this November. The art, among the earliest Rockwell did for The Saturday Evening Post, is expected to realize at least $1 million.

So, what’s hanging on your walls? Maybe, just maybe, it’s more valuable than you think.

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Hector Cantú, Editor & Publisher