Record-Setting Art Sale Will Lead To Huge Museum Gift
My colleague Jared Paul Stern wrote earlier this week about the blockbuster Picasso sale in New York. The sale of Pablo Picasso painting, "Nude, Green Leaves and Bust" brought in a record-breaking $106.5 million. But just where is all that money going? The late Frances Lasker Brody's art collection could bring The Huntington Library, Art Collections and Botanical Gardens in San Marino, California its largest cash gift ever, topping the $21 million gift received from Charles and Nancy Munger in 2002.
The Whittier Daily News reports that the staff at The Huntington gathered together to watch the bids rise on-line during the auction at Christie's in New York City on Tuesday. The grand total for Brody's art collection came to more than $224 million including Alberto Giacometti's 1954 bust, "Grande tête mince," which went for over $53 million at auction, and his 1951 bronze, "Le Chat," sold for over $20 million. Huntington president Steven Koblik is still waiting to hear how much from the sale of Brody's art collection will be set aside for The Huntington. The museum will also receive part of the proceeds from the sale of the Brodys Holmby Hills, California home which Bloomberg says is listed at $24.95 million. The home is on the market for the first time since it was built in 1949. The 2.3 acres include a guesthouse, pool and tennis court.
Brody died last November at 93. She had been involved with The Huntington for decades and the gift, which she had delineated in her will, will go toward all the programs at Huntington with special attention paid to the botanical gardens that Brody loved.
The Huntington Art Gallery was originally the Huntington residence and it contains one of the most comprehensive collections in this country of 18th- and 19th-century British and French art. It is also where you can see Gainsborough's Blue Boy. The Virginia Steele Scott Galleries of American Art features important paintings such as Mary Cassatt's Breakfast in Bed, Frederic Edwin Church's Chimborazo, Edward Hopper's The Long Leg, and John Singer Sargent's Portrait of Pauline Astor.
The botanical gardens cover 120 acres. There are over a dozen specialized gardens including a desert garden, Japanese garden and the rose garden. It boasts one of the largest camellia collections in the country.