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Rockwell painting bought by George Lucas

STOCKBRIDGE, Mass. (NEWS10) - From one great storyteller to another a museum founded by George Lucas has saved the Norman Rockwell painting that has been at the center of a legal storm.

The force is strong with Shuffleton's Barbershop George Lucas' Museum saved the Norman Rockwell Masterpiece from the chopping block.

It had been at the center of a legal fight over the Berkshire Museum's planned art sale.

The artist's son, Peter Rockwell, fought hard to keep it in the public eye.

"Both because of the way I felt about the painting and because my father gave the painting to the Berkshire Museum before his own museum was started so he had no public collection and he wanted it in the public where people could see it."

The painting is a favorite of Peter's.

The sculptor remembers watching his father work long days and nights dedicated to his craft.

"When he was alive his work did not sell for very much.It is important to emphasize the public element of a museum's collection."

It was no surprise that Lucas, a collector of Rockwell's artwork, would step in to preserve the painting.

The Lucas Museum broke ground last month

Shuffleton's Barbershop will be a prominent feature to exhibit the power of visual storytelling.

"The fact that it's a barber, but then in the back there are people playing what looks like classical music, so it's a contrast between what we normally think of a barber and what we think of classical music. That makes it interesting." 

Later this year, it will go on display at the Norman Rockwell Museum in Stockbridge until 2020.

That museum has a close relationship with the Lucas Museum, receiving transformational grants from the George Lucas Family Foundation over the years

"The connections between our two museums is the belief and idea that art can be used to help educate. We think that illustrations, because of the story aspect of it, and often history of it, is perfect for generations to come,” Jeremy Clowe, of the Norman Rockwell Museum, said.

An unveiling date at the Norman Rockwell Museum will be sometime this year. An official date has not been set.

The saving grace in this story is that the iconic painting won't be sent to a private collector or a galaxy far far away. 


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