Christie's to offer the Ann & Gordon Getty Collection

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Christie's to offer the Ann & Gordon Getty Collection
William-Adolphe Bouguereau, Le Printemps, oil on canvas. Estimate $250,000-350,000. © Christie's Images Ltd 2023.

NEW YORK, NY.- Christie’s announced the second installment of the Ann & Gordon Getty Collection. Following the October 2022 landmark sales, this June, Christie’s will present the contents of the Gettys’ historic turn of the century Berkeley property: Temple of Wings. The Collection will be sold over one live auction in New York – taking place on June 14, and two online sales ending on June 15. Proceeds will benefit selected arts and science organizations designed by Ann and Gordon Getty.

Temple of Wings, located on the Berkeley hillside, was built in a Greco-Roman style as the house and dance studio of Florence Treadwell Boynton. It was acquired by the Gettys in 1994, and under Ann Getty’s stewardship, they furnished the home with furniture and decorative arts honoring the rich eclecticism of the late 19th and 20th centuries.

The collection includes furniture from the most significant members of the Gothic Revival and Arts and Crafts movement, such as A.W.N. Pugin, textiles by William Morris and important glass works by Tiffany Studios. The sales also features important Victorian paintings by Sir Lawrence Alma-Tadema and the Pre-Raphaelites, resulting in a cohesive collection that represents the sensibility of the late 19th and 20th century Decorative Arts.

Jonathan Rendell, Christie’s Deputy Chairman – Americas, commented: “Another bravura performance by the multitalented Ann Getty, Temple of Wings drew together decorative arts from Europe and America from the late 19th and early 20th centuries in an extraordinary building high up in the Berkeley Hills. The interior blended the earnest tenets of the Arts and Crafts movement, the magical productions of Tiffany Studios and the aesthetic costume of Fortuny with roman maidens of Leighton and Alma Tadema. It was a magical place.”

19th Century and Victorian Paintings

Among the collection highlights are Sir Lawrence Alma-Tadema’s ‘A Coign of Vantage’, estimate $2,500,000 - 3,500,000. The work, originally hung in the Blue Parlor of the Berkeley residence, displays three aristocratic women looking down at a harbor below. A second highlight by Lord Leighton Frederic ‘The Bath of Psyche’ is estimated at $300,000-500,000.

19th Century Decorative Arts

A superb group of Victorian Gothic Revival furniture is featured in the sale, including a beautifully carved Gothic-Revival Oak Reading Stand that was reputedly purchased at the 1851 Great Exhibition at the Crystal Palace in London, a revolutionary moment for design reform in the 19th century and the catalyst for the Aesthetic and Arts and Crafts Movements. Mrs. Getty’s love for textile is tangible in examples of rugs featured in the sale, especially notable are the ones designed by William Morris, one of the most significant members of the Arts and Crafts movement – A Hand-Knotted 'Hammersmith' Rug will carry an estimate of $70,000-100,000.

Art Glass and Art Pottery

The collection includes an extensive and diverse group of Tiffany Studios glass and lighting such as a 'Wisteria' Table Lamp, circa 1905 estimate $400,000 – 600,000 and a 'Butterfly' Table Lamp, circa 1900, which will hit the auction block with an estimate of $300,000 – 500,000. Pottery included in the sale features firms such as Newcomb College Pottery, Grueby Faience Company and Rookwood. Rounding out the sale is a selection of works by Émile Gallé, Muller Frères, Daum and Lalique. Many works by William De Morgan will be featured in the sale including an 'Isnik' Tile Panel, circa 1890 estimate $5,000 - 7,000.

Ann Gilbert Getty (1941-2020) is remembered as a philanthropist, publisher, author, interior designer, and patron of the arts. A California native, Mrs. Getty grew up on a farm in Wheatland, CA. She founded Ann Getty and Associates, a San Francisco -based residential interior design firm. Mrs. Getty was an influential benefactor to countless organizations throughout her lifetime, including the University of California Berkeley, the San Francisco Opera, the San Francisco Symphony, the San Francisco Conservatory of Music, the Leakey Foundation, and the Napa Valley Festival. In New York, she served on the boards of the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the New York Public Library, and New York University.

Gordon Peter Getty (b.1933) is a philanthropist and American composer who has made a lifetime of contributions to the world of classical music. In 2019, he was awarded the prestigious European Culture Prize, recognizing his extraordinary legacy. Gordon Getty's music has been performed in such prestigious venues as New York’s Carnegie Hall and Lincoln Center, London’s Royal Festival Hall, Vienna’s Brahms-Saal, Moscow’s Tchaikovsky Hall and Bolshoi Theatre, and Beijing’s National Centre for the Performing Arts, as well as at the Aspen, Spoleto and Bad Kissingen Festivals, and Festival Napa Valley. He is the fourth child of J. Paul Getty (1892-1976), whose celebrated collection of art and antiquities formed the basis of the J. Paul Getty Museum in Los Angeles.

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