In 1961, Rockwell's studio was temporarily transformed into an abstract expressionist's workplace as he painted The Connoisseur, a painting about the relationship between conventional and modern art. Always fascinated by modern and abstract art, Rockwell designed a cover in which he could acknowledge his appreciation of the genre. By placing his back to us, he leaves the interpretation of the museum visitor's reaction to the viewer.
During an interview with the Smithsonian American Art Museum in conjunction with the exhibition Telling Stories: Norman Rockwell from the Collections of George Lucas and Steven Spielberg, collector Steven Spielberg said:
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