Over 300 artifacts from Hollywood legend and iconoclast Dennis Hopper to be auctioned by Julien's
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Over 300 artifacts from Hollywood legend and iconoclast Dennis Hopper to be auctioned by Julien's
James Dean l'etoile de cristal Award. Photo credit Julien's Auctions.

BEVERLY HILLS, CA.- Julien’s Auctions and Turner Classic Movies (TCM)–the ultimate destination for Hollywood memorabilia auctions–announced today their exclusive collection of over 300 artifacts from the archives of Hollywood legend and iconoclast, Dennis Hopper, heading to “JULIEN’S AUCTIONS AND TCM PRESENT: LEGENDS: HOLLYWOOD AND ROYALTY,” taking place live Wednesday, September 6th, Thursday, September 7th, and Friday, September 8th in Beverly Hills and online.

This tremendous collection, from the acclaimed actor of the iconic films, Easy Rider, Blue Velvet, Rebel Without a Cause, and Apocalypse Now, that helped define their eras and continue to entertain and inform viewers today, and the director, photographer, artist, and sculptor, and revered collector, who helped launch the careers of artists, such as Andy Warhol, Ed Ruscha, and Roy Lichtenstein, was uncovered at Hopper’s beloved El Cortez Theatre in Taos, New Mexico — a serene small town which served as his refuge from Hollywood and his final resting place.

Hopper purchased the theater and converted it as his home, art studio and screening room in in the 1960s, where Hopper would find camaraderie and inspiration among a colony of next-level artistic behemoths such as Martha Graham, Bob Dylan, and Jack Nicholson, who visited him at the famed Mabel Dodge Luhan house he'd later purchase, and created a counterculture bohemia where he would complete his most experimental artistic works, including his infamous directorial feature film The Last Movie.

His works of art and many important artifacts, documents, furnishings, personal wardrobe, such as his western clothing and cowboy boots as well as mementos connected to his storied film and art career, political activism and personal life will be well represented here including numerous letters and correspondence from stars such as Peter Fonda, Joe DiMaggio, and Miles Davis, items from his notorious eight-day marriage to Michelle Phillips from The Mamas and the Papas, historic photographs taken in the mid-1960s at war protests and civil rights marches and more.

Highlights include: a Polaroid photograph of Hopper wearing a white shirt, brown vest, and a cowboy hat taken by and signed by Andy Warhol (estimate: $20,000 - $30,000) (photo top left) with the word "HELP!" written in the white margin most likely by Hopper (photo left). Warhol took many Polaroids of Hopper over the years, but few, if any, others are known to have been signed by him; Hopper’s personally-owned Super 8 camera (estimate: $1,000 - $2,000) (photo right); a limited-edition copy of Ruscha’s Some Los Angeles Apartments, inscribed by the photographer and with a handwritten note (photo left) by Hopper (estimate: $15,000-$20,000); his vintage portable Remington Quiet-Riter typewriter (estimate: $1,000 - $2,000); and more.

A collection of Dennis Hopper’s original art work and photographs including: his earliest surviving painting– an abstract impressionistic portrait of a face–created and signed by Hopper of (estimate: $5,000-$7,000) (photo right) that he sent to his brother David as a gift just before the Bel Air Fire of 1961 burned his house down and destroyed all of his early paintings and photographs; an original semi-abstract drawing of a nude woman, executed in black marker on a sheet of paper; an original drawing of a horse, executed in red marker on a sheet of paper; a black and white photograph taken by Dennis Hopper, circa late-1960s, of his daughter Marin Hopper holding a protest sign that reads "War is not healthy for children and other living things;" a pair of original black and white photographs of the experimental filmmaker Curtis Harrington taken by Hopper; a black and white photograph of Dennis Hopper posing with a group of children at the Selma to Montgomery march organized by Dr. Martin Luther King in March 1965.

Items pertaining to the production, development and other ephemera of Hopper’s directorial debut and breakthrough film Easy Rider will be showcased including: a signed letter from Miles Davis to Dennis Hopper, detailing Davis' ideas for the soundtrack for Easy Rider (estimate: $1,000 - $2,000) and his desire to be involved in the film that offers a tantalizing glimpse of an alternate version of the film; Marilyn Schlossberg’s Easy Rider celebrity screening list that included among others Darryl Zanuck, Frank Sinatra, Lucille Ball, Kirk Douglas, and Sam Arkoff; a Nudies tuxedo jacket worn by Hopper to the 1970 Academy Awards when Easy Rider was nominated (estimate: $1,000 - $2,000) (photo left); Hopper’s paperback copy of Another Country by James Baldwin that belonged to Dennis with the first few pages torn off to reveal the first page of Book One, which is titled "Easy Rider." The page includes a quote from W.C. Handy that reads, "I told him, easy riders got to stay away, So he had to vamp it, But the hike ain't far." It's believed that this provided inspiration for the title of Hopper's classic film Easy Rider; a handwritten note by Dennis Hopper on the Easy Rider letterhead that has the yellow film poster across the top with the words "Cannes Film Festival Winner! 'Best Film By a New Director'” with Hopper’s response and interest in the El Cortez Theatre in Taos, New Mexico, which he eventually purchased; Hopper’s letter from the Academy of Motion Pictures Arts and Sciences with logistic for his 1970 Easy Rider nomination for Best Original Screenplay at the 42nd Academy Awards, including timing, seating, and appropriate attire for the event as well as his invitation and RSVP card and more.

Mementos from his personal life include a vintage three-piece outfit owned by Michelle Phillips of The Mamas & the Papas, whom Hopper met on the set of his 1971 film The Last Movie and married soon after in a union that lasted for only eight days, consisting of a cream sleeveless top with a paneled skirt with side slits, matching halter top and a pair of matching high-waisted hot shorts (photo right); a pair of The Gourmet Cookbook books Volume 1 and Volume 2 that are each signed inside "Michelle Gilliam Phillips / 1969;" a group of legal documents related to the dissolution of Dennis Hopper's marriages such as to Brooke Hayward, whom he divorced in 1969 and a document dated July 16, 1971 presumably regards Hopper's famously short eight weeks-long marriage to singer Michelle Phillips the previous year and more.

Pieces associated with Hopper’s film co-stars and friends in the art world and Hollywood will also be presented such as a rare James Dean original abstract oil painting of Miles Davis (estimate: $10,000-$20,000) (photo left). This hand-painted work of the jazz musician playing his trumpet was signed in 1954 by the iconic actor of classic films East of Eden, Rebel Without A Cause, and Giant, who would die in a tragic automobile accident the following year. There are only four recognized oil paintings in the world that have been completed by the iconic actor, this being one of them. Another incredible James Dean historic artifact is his l'etoile de cristal (Crystal Star) award (estimate: $10,000-$20,000) that was posthumously awarded by the French Academy of Cinema to James Dean in 1956 as best foreign actor for the film La Fureur de Vivre (Fury of Life), the French title for Rebel Without a Cause. The award, the French equivalent of the Oscar, is made of clear crystal and shaped like a starfish with one inner arm etched with the words "A James Dean" and the arm next to it etched with the words "L'Academie du Cinema / Paris le 21 Juin 1956." A black and white photograph of actor James Dean playing bongo drums in a field of cows and pigs that was signed, numbered, and gifted to Dennis Hopper by its photographer Dennis Stock will also be offered (estimate: $1,000-$2,000) (photo right). Stock took the photograph of Dean in February 1955 at the farm on which he was raised by his uncle and aunt in Fairmount, Indiana for Life magazine’s feature on Dean’s rise to fame titled "Moody New Star." Another black and white glossy photograph of James Dean taken by Dennis Stock that belonged to Dennis Hopper shows the actor seen posing in a cemetery next to his young cousin Marcus Winslow near a tombstone engraved with the name Cal Dean. The significance of the photo taken in the actor's hometown Fairmount, Indiana in February 1955, is that Dean played a character named Cal in the classic film East of Eden, which would be released the next month.

Items from John Lennon will be presented, such as a group of telephone messages from the Hotel Chelsea informing Hopper that Yoko Ono and John Lennon were trying to get in touch with him dated September-October 1971 and handwritten and printed art invitations from Ono to Dennis Hopper to Yoko Ono and John Lennon's 1971 Water Talk art event.

A group of documents pertaining to Kris Kristofferson and his appearance in The Last Movie, where he made his screen debut performing the song "Me and Bobby McGee"as "Minstrel Wrangler" include a sheet of annotated typewritten lyrics for the classic Fred Foster / Kris Kristofferson song "Me and Bobby McGee."

Other top highlights include: Hopper’s invitations to New York and Los Angeles gallery exhibitions of Andy Warhol, Edward Ruscha, Mashiko Kimura, Roy Lichtenstein, Claes Oldenberg, Cynthia Carlson, and Robert Rauschenberg that were sent to Hopper; a faded green chair from the Mabel Luhan Dodge House (dubbed the "Mud House"); his pair of worn vintage brown cowboy boots as well as his vintage, western-style shirts, vintage Vietnam-era, military-issued green combat style Jungle Boots and more.

“After the filming of Dennis Hopper’s seminal classic film Easy Rider, Hopper decided to leave Hollywood for Taos, New Mexico, a remarkable town and wellspring of inspiration which would fuel his artistic expression and forever shape his legacy,” said Martin Nolan, Executive Director and Founder of Julien’s Auctions. “This incredible auction of rare artifacts uncovered from Hopper’s fabled home and art studio, the El Cortez Theatre, pays homage to this legendary Hollywood rebel whose life and work in film and in the political and art worlds made him one of the leading figures of the counterculture movement.”

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