Fort Worth Arts Champion Anne Bass’ $250 Million-Plus Treasures Go Up For Auction — Christie’s to Handle Monumental Sale
12 Masterpieces That Define a Special Lady's LifeBY Courtney Dabney // 05.07.22
Balthus, Jeune fille à la fenêtre is estimated to fetch between $4 and $6-million at Thursday's auction.
Interior of Anne Bass’s NYC Home_Rothko, Untitled (Shades of Red), Monet, Le Parlement, soleil couchant, Rothko, No. 1 © 2022 Visko Hatfield.
This Degas, Danseuse attachant son chausson, speaks to Anne Bass' passion for dance, especially ballet.
Anne Bass and Shelia Grant
Paul Rudolph designed the Bass house in Fort Worth in 1970. A dramatic cantilever overlooks an alley of pleached oaks. The gardens were designed by Russell Page, Robert Zion and Anne Bass. (Photo by Scott Frances/Otto)
Christie’s is set to host a live auction centered around longtime Fort Worth philanthropist and arts champion Anne Hendricks Bass, who passed away in 2020. The Collection of Anne H. Bass featuring a selection of 12 significant artworks from leading 19th and 20th century artists, including impressionist masters and modernist marvels. The lot — which includes three pieces from Edgar Degas, three from Claude Monet and two from Mark Rothko — is estimated to command in excess of $250 million, according to Christie’s.
The famed auction house is touting it as “the most important American collection to arrive on the market this season.”
The collection came to Christie’s directly from the interior of Bass’s New York City home. The sale is set for this Thursday, May 12 at 6 pm.
Born in Indianapolis, Indiana, Anne Hendricks Bass became a notable patron of the arts in her adopted hometowns of both New York and Fort Worth. Her philanthropic work touched many parts of Fort Worth, including The Country Day School, The Modern Art Museum and Texas Ballet Theatre, one of her major passions. Bass also served on the board of Jewel Charity Ball, which benefits Cook Children’s Medical Center.
These 12 works of art, will be presented at a dedicated single-owner evening sale during Christie’s Marquee Week of 20th and 21st Century Art sales at Rockefeller Plaza in New York City.
“Everywhere in her apartment there were exquisitely calibrated affinities and dialogues, between the enigmatic windows of Balthus and Hammershøi; between the dancers of Degas in pastel and bronze; between the flowering of Impressionism and the New York School; between Monet and Rothko,” says Max Carter, Christie’s head of Impressionist and Modern Art.
In the entry area of Mrs. Bass’s Fifth Avenue apartment, an Edgar Degas’ bronze sculpture Petite danseuse de quatorze ans (estimated sales price of $20 million to $30 million) shared space with Balthus’s Jeune fille à la fenêtre (estimated price $4 million to $6 million).
Two paintings by Mark Rothko — Untitled (Shades of Red) (estimated sales price of $60 to $80 million) and No. 1 (estimated sales price of $45 million to 65 million) — took center stage in Anne Bass’ living room. Monet’s Le Parlement, soleil couchant held court the room beyond.
Three singular Monet paintings ― Nymphéas (estimated sales price $35 million to $55 million) Peupliers au bord de l’Epte, automne (estimated price $30 million to $50 million) and Le Parlement, soleil couchant (estimated price $40 million to $60 million) — resided in her dining room.
“As a collector, Anne Bass was timeless,” notes Alex Rotter, Christie’s chairman of 20th and 21st Century Art. “Truly passionate about art in all of its forms, she not only appreciated beautiful objects, but she lived with them.
“These paintings and sculptures were more than just possessions to Mrs. Bass, they were part of her home and her day-to-day life. We are thrilled to have the opportunity to offer it at Christie’s this spring.”