Friday, October 30, 2015

Sotheby’s 18 November Auction of AMERICAN ART: Andrew Wyeth

Sotheby’s will offer three works by Andrew Wyeth from the collection of Hollywood legend Charlton Heston and his wife, Lydia Heston, as part of its American Art auction in New York on 18 November 2015. 
A longtime admirer of the Wyeth family and of Andrew’s work in particular, Charlton Heston began a correspondence with the artist in the 1980s that quickly grew into a friendship, which included visits with Andrew and his family in Chadds Ford, Pennsylvania – a location that served as the inspiration for so much of the Wyeths’ oeuvre. Charlton later narrated a documentary on Andrew’s work titled The Helga Pictures Study, and wrote multiple articles on Wyeth for publications such as the National Review.
Charlton Heston’s first acquisition of Andrew Wyeth’s work was 

the mesmerizing watercolor Ice Pool (estimate $150/250,000), which he purchased as an anniversary gift for Lydia Heston. 

In 1988, Charlton acquired 

Flood Plain (estimate $2/3 million), a work that exemplifies the skillful combination of medium, composition and subject that has made Wyeth one of the most significant American artists of the 20th century. 

In 1989, Charlton Heston’s son, Fraser Heston, directed him in an adaptation of Robert Louis Stevenson’s Treasure Island. The two decided that N.C. Wyeth’s illustrations from the 1911 edition of the book would serve as inspiration for the production design. Andrew Wyeth allowed the Hestons to create large-scale blow-ups of his father’s work. As a thank you, the Hestons held a screening of the film at the Brandywine River Museum of Art, which houses much of the Wyeth family’s work. 

Just before Christmas of 1991, a box marked ‘A. Wyeth’ arrived at the Heston’s house. Charlton waited until Christmas morning to open the package, which contained Study for ‘Flood Plain’ (estimate $20/30,000). In a thank you note to Wyeth, Heston wrote “I haven’t been so excited about a Christmas gift since I was ten years old... You’ve given our family not only a piece of your work, which is both your livelihood and your life, but a part of the process... a private part of your working insides.”