“Norman Rockwell and His Contemporaries” is currently on exhibit at the National Museum of American Illustration. As part of the museum’s benefit silent auction on July 21. 2016, Don Trachte Jr. will speak about his father’s copied version of Norman Rockwell’s “Breaking Home Ties” and a Rockwell study for the painting will be auctioned to benefit the museum.
“He could have been a master forger,” said Judy Goffman Cutler, director and co-founder of the National Museum of American Illustration.
Goffman Cutler viewed the replica painting at the Rockwell museum in the early 2000’s. She obtained a print of the original Saturday Evening Post cover from the museum gift shop, and noticed slight differences, unnoticeable to a non-professional observer. The elder Don Trachte purchased the painting for $900 on July 2, 1962, and his son still has the check to prove it. So the provenance, or history of ownership, was very clear, making the puzzle of why the painting was different from the original Post cover all the more baffling.
Read the Newport Daily News article to find out the rest of the mystery, and how the Trachte family solved it.