Phillips has announced selections from the collection of Virginia-based art patron and philanthropist, the late William Royall, who died in June, will go on offer in the house’s upcoming 20th century and contemporary art sale on December 7 in New York.
Royall served as the head of direct-marketing firm, Royall & Co. Together with his wife, Pamela, the couple amassed a valuable collection—a large portion of which is focused on modern and contemporary black artists. Their holdings comprise works by emerging and mid-career names like Rashid Johnson, Kehinde Wiley, Amy Sherald, Mickalene Thomas, Adam Pendleton and Theaster Gates, along with artists active from the early 20th century to the postwar era such as Bill Traylor, Jack Whitten, Beauford Delaney and Thornton Dial.
Active museum donors, the collectors gifted more than 100 works to the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts, where Bill Royall served as trustee. They also gave an acquisition fund in their name devoted to bringing works of contemporary art to the museum’s collection and were key in the museum’s acquisitions of Kehinde Wiley’s 30-foot-high bronze statue, Rumors of War (2019), to Richmond in December 2019 and Sanford Bigger’s Overstood (2017) in 2018.