Recently we visited Bonhams for the auction preview of 50 selected lots with works by Henry Moore, David Hockney, Robert Graham, Noel Coward and Jim Dine for the astonishing art collection assembled by acclaimed actress of stage and screen, Lauren Bacall, who died in August 2014.
The auctioned is set to take place at Bonhams New York on 31 March and 1 April and highlights of the collection, including works by some of the greatest artists of the 20th century. London was one stop on an international tour which takes in Hong Kong, Los Angeles, Paris and New York, and the selection features jewellery, decorative arts, tribal works of art and prints as well as paintings and sculptures.
Many of the 750 lots to be auctioned graced three of Bacall’s residences: the Los Angeles house she shared with her first husband, Humphrey Bogart, her country home in Amagansett, New York, and her apartment in New York’s famed The Dakota, overlooking Central Park, which she shared with second husband, Jason Robards until 1969.
Heading the preview are six bronze maquettes by Henry Moore, Britain’s greatest 20th century sculptor and one of Bacall’s favourite artists. Bacall’s deep admiration of Moore began in the 1950s while she was living in Los Angeles. After finally meeting the sculptor at his studio in 1975, she wrote: ‘It was and will be ever a high point of my life … [it was the] realization of a dream.’
Also included in the highlight exhibition are bronze sculptures by noted American artist, Robert Graham, whose works fascinated Lauren Bacall. She was captivated by the precise realism and bold expression of the female form in Graham’s work and referred to these three sculptures as her “girls”. Robert Graham was married to Bacall’s close friend, Anjelica Huston.
Contemporary and modern prints by David Hockney, Jim Dine, Richard Avedon, Henry Moore and John James Audubon as well as paintings by the legendary Sir Noel Coward, Aaron Shikler, Georges Wakhevitch will also be featured.
Some of the actress’s best loved jewellery pieces, created by designer Jean Schlumberger, will be on display with other items including an 18-carat yellow gold, enamel, cultured pearl, and rose diamond Mogul-inspired camel brooch by British jeweller, Elizabeth Gage. This piece is accompanied by the original drawing and correspondence showing the extent of the collaboration and friendship between the jeweller and the client.
Jon King, Vice President and Director of Business Development at Bonhams, said: ‘Bonhams is delighted to share with the public a rare insight into the world of Lauren Bacall, the accomplished collector. Her collection is a truly a reflection of her extraordinary taste and remarkable life.’
Lauren Bacall’s apartment in The Dakota, New York which displays Bacall’s collection of African art, an interest that developed while Humphrey Bogart was filming The African Queen.
Bonhams (101 New Bond Street, London, W1S1SR)