Samuel Goldwyn Art Collection Goes Under The Hammer At Sotheby’s

Samuel Goldwyn

Modern art masterpieces from The Samuel Goldwyn family Collection will go under the hammer at Sotheby’s, in a series of auctions beginning in May 2015. The Goldwyn’s is legendary within the film industry, many will discover in these sales that their creative vision also extended to collecting fine art. Samuel Goldwyn Sr. assembled a core group of works from the late-1940s through the 1960s during Hollywood’s Golden Age, from which standout pieces by artists such as Pablo Picasso and Henri Matisse will emerge. Samuel Goldwyn Jr. in turn judiciously added to the collection, bringing in important works by David Hockney, Milton Avery, Diego Rivera and more.
Sotheby’s sales featuring Property from the Goldwyn Collection will begin in New York on 5 May, when the Evening Sale of Impressionist & Modern Art offers Picasso’s Femme au chignon dans un fauteuil – a portrait of the artist’s lover Françoise Gilot that is estimated to achieve $12–18 million. In total, Sotheby’s will offer more than 25 works from the collection, together estimated in excess of $25 million, including Anémones et grenades by Henri Matisse, the first picture that Samuel Goldwyn Sr. purchased for his collection, in March 1948 (estimate $5/7 million).
As the ‘Goldwyn’ in Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer (MGM) Studios, Oscar-winning producer and Hollywood pioneer Samuel Goldwyn Sr. (1879–1974) is renowned for his contributions to early film. From The Squaw Man in 1914 to Porgy and Bess in 1959, he produced well over 100 movies and played a critical role in the establishment and swift rise of America’s film industry. As the founder of The Samuel Goldwyn Company in 1979, Samuel Goldwyn Jr. (1926–2015) championed the independent film movement in the United States and supported many of the industry’s rising stars at the outset of their careers, from Ang Lee and Anthony Minghella to Kenneth Branagh and Julia Roberts.
The Goldwyn family commented: “Our father and grandfather’s collection was a living and constantly-evolving entity, and we were privileged to have the opportunity to watch it develop over decades. It was a deeply personal pursuit for both of them, and many of the pieces speak to their lives and passions – from the Polish shawl worn by Françoise Gilot in Picasso’s portrait, which our Polish-American grandfather acquired in the 1950s, to the quintessential Los Angeles narratives of David Hockney that spoke to our father. We now look forward to sharing these works with a new generation of collectors, and hope they enjoy them as much as our family has for so many years.”
Simon Shaw, Co-Head of Sotheby’s Worldwide Impressionist & Modern Art Department, said: “Ambition, perfectionism, energy, reinvention: all words that apply equally to the Goldwyn family and to the artists like Picasso and Matisse that they collected. While celebrated for their extraordinary legacy in the world of film, we look forward to introducing collectors and connoisseurs to a side of this dynasty that they may not know. The unique spirit with which both Samuel Goldwyn Senior and Junior approached film is the same spirit with which they collected important works of art for more than 50 years.”


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