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Proceeds from Auction of Famed Playwright’s Collection to Benefit His Foundation

One of America’s legendary playwrights was also an avid art collector, who amassed an extraordinary art collection. Unlike many collectors, he lived with his art, and it filled his downtown New York City loft.

The Edward Albee Foundation will be the beneficiary of proceeds from the sale of playwright Edward Albee’s museum-quality art collection, which is estimated to be worth $9 million. As reported in The New York Times, Albee created the foundation to provide a residence to writers and visual artists who would benefit from the time and space to focus on their creativity.

Broadway World says in its recent article, “Sale of Edward Albee’s Estate Will Benefit His Foundation,” that the Chairman of Sotheby’s fine arts division, Amy Cappellazzo, said: “Edward lived with the collection in a very special way. He lived with it deeply. Everything was placed in an open loft environment, and how they were hung was interesting and specific to him, so we’re going to try to do justice to those ideas.”

Albee’s estate will sell his art collection to raise money for his foundation in Montauk, N.Y. Sotheby’s is planning to auction more than 100 works from the playwright’s collection, which it anticipates will sell for more than $9 million. The work is mostly 20th Century fine art, such as Jean Arp, Milton Avery, Wassily Kandinsky and Lee Krasner, but it also includes some African and pre-Columbian pieces.

“He really loved objects, and he really loved painting,” said Cappellazzo. She noted that Albee amassed the collection over many years and across many genres. Some works were acquired based on his relationships with the artists, some were connected to devotional practices that interested him and some simply caught his eye.

“That eclectic taste is a mark of his curiosity,” she said. “He had tremendous reverence for the process of artmaking of all kinds, and the collection is definitely that of a collector who was interested in the minds of artists.”

Cappellazzo said Albee’s popularity is expected to increase sales.

Edward Albee, who died in his sleep at age 88 on September 16, 2016, was a celebrated figure of the American theater and recipient of three Pulitzer Prizes. In recognition of his contributions, in 2005 he was presented with a Lifetime Achievement Tony Award. Albee was also presented with the Kennedy Center Honors and the National Medal of Arts in 1996.

Reference: Broadway World (June 25, 2017) “Sale of Edward Albee’s Estate Will Benefit His Foundation”

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