Author Michael Crichton wasn't just a prolific writer and the creator of "ER" he was also an avid art collector. Crichton, who died in 2008, had collected works from Picasso, Jasper Johns, Robert Rauschenberg, Roy Lichtenstein and others. Some of those works will be sold by Christie's in New York as part of their May auctions
. The total value for the collection hasn't been given but just the haul from the big four listed above is supposed to top $32 million. One piece is one of John's famous flag paintings. Crichton was a Johns scholar, the two had met and this painting, "Flag" by Johns, dated 1960-66, was bought directly from the artist's collection and has never been on the public market.
Auctions that have a celebrity provenance
have done well in the past few years even when the rest of the art market was in the doldrums. With the recent excitement of a new record set by a Giacometti sculpture
, hopes are high for big results on this one. Reuters reports
that the auction record for a Johns is $17.4 million set back in 2007 for his 1959 work "Figure 4," but that another piece, "False Start," sold for a reported $80 million in a private sale.