Rockwell painting fetches $2.8M

| Sunday, Dec. 2, 2012, 8:54 p.m.

CHICAGO — Norman Rockwell's World War II painting “Willie Gillis Food Package from Home” garnered $2.8 million from a private buyer in an auction in Chicago on Saturday, the auction house said.

Renowned American artist Rockwell did a series of Willie Gillis paintings for the cover of the Saturday Evening Post magazine, starting with the “Package from Home” on Oct. 4, 1941, and continuing through “Willie Gillis in College” on Oct. 5, 1946.

“Package from Home” had been privately held in Chicago for decades. Susanin's Auctions did not disclose the identity of its new owner.

As America entered World War II, Rockwell introduced Willie Gillis, a fictional character, as an enlisted man surrounded by fellow servicemen, receiving goodies from home. Rockwell was most known for his cover illustrations of everyday life for the Post during 47 years.

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