Boy Scouts To Sell Nearly 60 Norman Rockwell Works to Pay Sex-Abuse Claims
The association between the Boy Scouts of America and Norman Rockwell spanned more than six decades but the debt-laden organization, faced with tens of thousands of sex abuse claims, is poised to sell its collection of Rockwell’s art.
It has been confirmed that approximately 92,700 people have now filed sex abuse claims against the Boy Scouts of America.
The New York Times News Service reports that the Boy Scouts have listed nearly 60 pieces of art by Rockwell. The sale would help raise money for a settlement fund of at least $300 million for sexual abuse victims.
It's not clear whether the collection had been appraised. The 379-page court filing on Monday did not include values for each piece of artwork. The organization announced its intentions in court papers filed Monday in a federal bankruptcy court in Delaware after filing for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in February of last year.
This followed allegations of rampant sexual abuse by Scout leaders, employees and volunteers dating back to at least 1944.
Many of the paintings are oil on canvas and were commissioned over the decades by the Boy Scouts, which first hired Rockwell to illustrate “The Boy Scout’s Hike Book” in 1912. He soon became art editor of Boys’ Life, as the organization’s monthly magazine was called at the time.
A prominent Rockwell biographer suggested on Tuesday that the value of the paintings in the Boy Scouts’ collection might be more sentimental compared to some of the most prized works by Rockwell, who she said was never a scout himself.
The Huffington Post reports that the artwork was commissioned by the BSA during a 64-year relationship with the late painter and illustrator, who got his first paid artist job with the organization’s Boys’ Life magazine in 1912, the BSA said. The paintings have been on display at the Medici Museum of Art in Howland, Ohio, since 2020.