Using the usual bulletin board to announce an auction house’s wares, Christie’s announces in Carol Vogel’s Friday New York Times column that it is has secured the estate of Betty Freeman:
Ms. Freeman, who died in January at the age of 87 in Beverly Hills, also loved contemporary art and in the 1950s began collecting works by Abstract Expressionist painters like Clyfford Still, Sam Francis and Mark Rothko. Over the years she expanded her collecting purview, buying prime examples by artists like David Hockney, Roy Lichtenstein, Claes Oldenburg and Dan Flavin. Twenty pieces from her collection will be for sale and are estimated to fetch a total of $26 million to $39 million.
Among the highlights is Mr. Hockney’s “Beverly Hills Housewife” from 1966. [ . . . ] The double canvas, which measures 12 feet long by 6 feet high, is estimated at $7 million to $10 million. [ . . . ]
Another painting that is expected to be a big seller is Lichtenstein’s “Frolic.” From his Surrealist Series, the 1977 canvas is large —more than 6 feet by 5 feet — and depicts a blond woman dancing across a beach juggling a brightly colored ball in her fingertips. Estimated at $4 million to $7 million, it [ . . . recalls MoMA’s] “Girl With Ball,” which Lichtenstein painted in 1961.
In richer times Christie’s would have offered the estate a guarantee, an undisclosed sum promised to a seller regardless of the outcome of a sale. Now such financing is a thing of the past. While many experts say the sellers are getting a percentage of the fees Christie’s will receive from buyers, it was mainly relationships its specialists have with the Freeman family and the marketing strategy that won the property.
Inside Art (New York Times)