Christie’s Announces West Coast Tour of Great Works from the Barney A. Ebsworth and Mary Tyler Moore Collections

Barbara Guggenheim, center. Photos by Lucretia Tye Jasmine

Christie’s requested the pleasure of The LA Beat’s company for a recent art show and cocktail gala which featured mega art by mega artists, with work valued at over $200 million dollars! That’s so much money I don’t even know how to write it out numerically. The event also featured a conversation with art advisor and author, Barbara Guggenheim.

I was spellbound by the amazing art at Christie`s last week. The event featured Modern, Post-War, and Contemporary art, all beautifully arranged. The artists included Jean (Hans) Arp, Tamara De Lempicka, Richard Diebenkorn, Helen Frankenthaler, David Hockney, Edward Hopper, Jasper Johns, Mike Kelley, Paul Klee, Henry Moore, Georgia O’Keeffe, Pablo Picasso, Jackson Pollock, and Ed Ruscha.

Beloved TV icon, Mary Tyler Moore, collected art by Diebenkorn, and its gentle abstractions in soft oils and pastels soothed me as I stood before the large artwork.

Richard Diebenkorn (1922-1993), “Ocean Park #137,” oil and charcoal on canvas, 100 x 81 in. (254 x 205.7 cm.), 1985.

I stayed for the panel, dreaming of the auction. The panel gave a bit of background on some of the artwork featured, such as the storied provenance (music mogul, David Geffen, owned the Hockney!), and guidance for art collecting: focus on quality; follow your gut reaction; look at the art up close and from a distance; and invest disciplined time as well as money on art.

Immerse yourself in art, but spend no more than two hours each week in museums and galleries, to get a feel for the art and what it’s worth to you. If the gallery or museum is large, choose one wing at a time to study. Wait, but don’t wait too long, to decide what to purchase.

I wanted two. I could live every day of my life with the colorful, complicated gestures of the Pollock. The one I decided I would buy if I could only buy one is an artwork by Tamara De Lempicka, whose life was as rich, smoothly fleshy, and yummy as her art, with statuesque forms that look like soft marble lit by Art Deco glamour. I love art that shows humans being nice to animals. A bisexual who held her brush like a smoldering cigarette, and with lots of money and talent, De Lempicka did exactly what she wanted with her time here on earth.

Tamara De Lempicka (1898-1980), “Femme a la colombe,” oil on panel, 13 3/4 x 10 1/2 in. (35.1 x 26.6 cm.), 1931.

I’m so grateful I attended the event. Everyone who worked at Christie’s was so helpful and nice; the security guards and hosts lovely and informed. Also, as my sweetie pointed out, all of the guests were nice, too. (We were insecure at first, because our clothes aren’t expensive.) Plus, free snacks and beverages! Art—because of or in spite of—its elite status can also serve those who can’t afford to buy the most vaunted.

Proceeds from the sale of paintings for the Bennington College collection will go to Bennington College’s Art for Access, which is a new initiative to fund scholarships. Also, we can enjoy the art whether or not we own it, and we can make our own art, too.  At the bar, I admired a uniquely stylish woman’s one-of-a-kind and artist-made full skirt embedded with sequins arranged in circus-themed shapes.

Dates for various auctions by Christie’s can be found on their website.


Lucretia Tye Jasmine

About Lucretia Tye Jasmine

Wild interests and an inclination to rage against the machine with a flair that could equal the groupies and rock stars who fascinate her, writer and artist from Kentucky, Lucretia Tye Jasmine, earned an MFA from CalArts (2006), and a BFA from Tisch (University Honors Scholar, 1988). Alien She, the Museum of Broken Relationships Hollywood, the Fales Special Collections Library at NYU, the Getty Center, Joanie 4 Jackie, MoPOP, the New York Times, and The Punk Museum Los Angeles have featured her work. Recent publications include essays in "Women Who Rock: From Bessie to Beyoncé, Girl Groups to Riot Grrrl," edited by Evelyn McDonnell (2018), and "Let It Bleed: How To Write A Rockin' Memoir," edited by Pamela Des Barres (2017), with online writing for Please Kill Me, Medium, and PRISM international. Current projects are the oral history mixtape zines: "riot grrrl Los Angeles 1992-1995," and "The Groupie Gospels."
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4 Responses to Christie’s Announces West Coast Tour of Great Works from the Barney A. Ebsworth and Mary Tyler Moore Collections

  1. Monique A LeBleu says:

    Lucretia, that Hopper went for $92 million!

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