Unveiling The Collection Of Anne Bass Selling For $250 Million
Art3 Minutes Read

Unveiling The Collection Of Anne Bass Selling For $250 Million

April 2, 2022 Share

Arts patron and philanthropist Anne Bass was one of a kind, but 12 pieces from her impressive art collection have been going on the block since her death.

Twelve works of Impressionist and modern art from the collection of philanthropist Anne Bass will be sold at Christie’s this spring.

Among those works are paintings by Edgar Degas, Claude Monet, and Mark Rothko. As a whole, the group is expected to fetch $250 million. In May, those pieces will hit the auction block during a single-owner sale held as part of Christie’s marquee modern and contemporary art sales.

Born in Indianapolis to a distinguished surgeon, Anne Hendricks studied art history and Italian literature at Vassar. In 1965 she married her college sweetheart Sid Richardson Bass, whose family built a Texas oil fortune and subsequently diversified into investments that included the Walt Disney Company. Back then, they were then the most significant shareholders. 

Anne Bass
In the Bass house, 1970, Paul Rudolph designed the table, which surfaced with subway grating and inset with mirrors. Bass family portraits by Andy Warhol. (Photo by Scott Frances/Otto)

But in 2020, Bass passed at the age of 78 following a long illness. Not many people know that Anne Bass left behind a costly art collection.

She began collecting in the ’70s and grew a collection rich in Impressionist and modern art. Bass provided funding to the Fort Worth Art Museum, the New York City Ballet, the Museum of Modern Art in New York, and the New York Botanical Garden and gifted couture pieces to the Costume Institute at the Metropolitan Museum of Art.

Anne Bass
Ms Bass and the financier Saul Steinberg at a gala event at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in 1987. Ms Bass became one of New York’s most respected philanthropists. Credit Ron Galella

According to ArtNews, the most highly valued works headed to Christie’s are two Rothko paintings that once hung in the living room of Bass’s New York apartment.

One of them, Untitled (Shades of Red), is being given an estimate of $60 million–$80 million. The other, No. 1, an orange and pink abstraction, is estimated at $45 million–$65 million. Both are being offered with guarantees.

Anne Bass
Anne Bass New York apartment living room. COURTESY CHRISTIE’S

Meanwhile, three Monet paintings, each estimated at prices between $30 million and $60 million, will also hit the block. A version of Degas’s famed sculpture of a young dancer was given a $20 million–$30 million estimate, and Balthus’s painting Jeune fille à la fenêtre, an interior view of a woman slumped over a living room window, is expected to sell for between $4 million and $6 million.

The second significant batch of Impressionist and modern artworks consigned from a private collection to Christie’s last year, after one from the late Texas oil mogul Edwin L. Cox’s group sold netted $332 million.

Highlights from the Bass collection will tour at Christie’s headquarters in London and Hong Kong before going on view in New York ahead of the auction in May.

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