collection achieved more than US$150 million across four live and six online auctions at Christie’s that concluded Tuesday, making it one of the top three collections of both decorative and fine arts ever sold at Christie’s.
Each of the 10 auctions met or exceeded their presale estimates, each with a 100% sell-through rate, the auction house said.
Proceeds will benefit the Ann and Gordon Getty Foundation for the Arts, which supports a range of California-based arts and science charities.
The nearly 1,500 works in the collection were drawn from Getty’s townhouse in San Francisco’s Pacific Heights neighborhood. Gordon Getty, 88, a son of oil tycoon
J. Paul Getty,
led the sale of his family’s oil business to Texaco for US$10.1 billion in 1984. Since then, he has focused on his interests in classical music composing, and philanthropy. His wife, Ann, died in 2020 at the age of 81.
At the evening auction on Thursday at Christie’s New York saleroom, 60 lots fetched a combined US$79.4 million, which didn’t include the expected sale of Venice, the Grand Canal looking East with Santa Maria della Salute by Italian Venetian-school painter
Giovanni Antonio Canal,
commonly known as Canaletto. The painting sold privately hours before the live auction to the Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco through a donation by
Diane B. Wilsey,
a former chair of the museum, according to Christie’s. The painting was valued between US$6 million and US$10 million.
Young Lady in a Loge Gazing to Right became the top lot, selling for US$7.5 million, setting a record at auction for the 82-year-old American painter and printmaker. The work, with a presale estimate between US$3 million and US$5 million, was acquired by the Pola Museum of Art in Hakone in Japan.
“As the momentum built over 10 auctions, Christie’s was thrilled to see the funding of the Ann and Gordon Getty Foundation for the Arts increasing sale by sale,”
chairman of Christie’s Americas, said in a news release. “It is also important to note that museums purchased the two highest value paintings for public display.”
The other three live auctions took place from Friday to Sunday, featuring paintings, English and European furniture and silverware, as well as Chinese works of art. In total, the four live auctions achieved nearly US$140 million, against a presale estimate of US$125 million.
In addition to Cassatt, three other artists saw their auction records reset, according to Christie’s.
Vaslav Nijinsky in “Danse Siamoise” sold for US$2.7 million;
Portrait de Sarah Bernhardt achieved US$2.28 million, and
Three Head Studies Of A Girl Wearing A Hat, fetched US$3.42 million.
The Getty Collection became the third most valuable collection of both decorative and fine arts sold at Christie’s, following the collection of Yves Saint Laurent and
in 2009 for €373.9 million (US$483.8 million), and the collection of Peggy and David Rockefeller for US$832.6 million in 2018.