The Norman Rockwell Museum, Stockbridge, Massachusetts, has added this study to the Norman Rockwell Online Catalogue Raisonné, and can be accessed at http:nrm.org
Private Collection (gift from the artist) By descent to the present owner (his daughter)
The present work is a study for Rockwell's painting The Thing to Do with Life is Live It! (Outrigger Canoe), which is one of several works the artist created for Pan American World Airlines. In 1956, Pan Am commissioned the prominent advertising agency J. Walter Thompson to create their new marketing campaign, one that would showcase the company as the country’s premier airline. The final version of this painting was first published in Life magazine in 1956. The original owner of this work was an art director at J. Walter Thompson who formed a friendship with the artist during the time of this commission.
The following condition report has been provided by Simon Parkes, Simon Parkes Art Conservation, Inc. 502 East 74th St. New York, NY 212-734-3920, firstname.lastname@example.org, an independent restorer who is not an employee of Sotheby's.
This work is painted over a photograph. It has probably never been restored. A few tiny losses can be seen along the extreme edges, particularly along the top and bottom. There does not appear to be any other weakness or paint loss. The artist scratched into the paint layer in the front of the boat. The work is not dirty and probably has never been shown without glazing or other protective cover. Depending on how the work is to be displayed, retouches could be applied around the edges. Remnants of some adhesive on the top edge near the peak of the mountain that are slightly brown could also be removed. In response to your inquiry, we are pleased to provide you with a general report of the condition of the property described above. Since we are not professional conservators or restorers, we urge you to consult with a restorer or conservator of your choice who will be better able to provide a detailed, professional report. Prospective buyers should inspect each lot to satisfy themselves as to condition and must understand that any statement made by Sotheby's is merely a subjective qualified opinion. NOTWITHSTANDING THIS REPORT OR ANY DISCUSSIONS CONCERNING CONDITION OF A LOT, ALL LOTS ARE OFFERED AND SOLD "AS IS" IN ACCORDANCE WITH THE CONDITIONS OF SALE PRINTED IN THE CATALOGUE.