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Field's, Federated and More Feuds

By Hanna Aronovich in Arts & Entertainment on Apr 20, 2006 6:06PM

Federated Department Stores is in a tug of war with Target Corp. over yet another piece of Chicago history. Only this time, we’re siding with Federated. The dispute is over a 60-year old painting (entitled "Clock Mender") by Norman Rockwell, which appeared on the Nov. 3, 1945 issue of the Saturday Evening Post. Rockwell.jpg

Rockwell donated the painting to Field’s in 1948, where it hung in the seventh-floor archive room until it was replaced by a copy. The Sun-Times reports that the copy “disappeared.”

Target took the original painting when it sold the Field’s chain in 2004. And now, Federated is asking Target to return the painting to what we think is its rightful home: Chicago. "We hope that the original painting can be permanently returned to the community some time in the future so it can be enjoyed by future generations of Chicagoans," Federated said.

We’re not sure what happened to the replica or why anyone would steal it. We hope there’s no foul play here and certainly don’t want a copycat of the forgery and 30-year disappearance of Rockwell's 1954 "Breaking Home Ties" piece.

Because, Chicagoist loves Norman Rockwell - his brilliant capturing of Americana; his soft, yet poignant political commentary and, well, he just seems like an all around nice guy. Heck, we love him so much, we’ve been to the Museum of Norman Rockwell Art in Reedsburg on three (three!) separate occasions.

We also love him for the tributes he’s paid to Chicago. In addition to “Clock Mender,” Rockwell is responsible for a Christmas 1944 Post cover Union Station, Chicago.

So, Federated, we’re with you on this one. We’re not saying we forgive you for turning Field’s into Macy’s, but if you get us our Rockwell back, it’s a step in the right direction.

Image via Norman Rockwell Museum of Vermont