Andy Williams’ art collection set for Christie’s auctions



2015-06-26 11:14:18

Andy Williams’ art collection set for Christie’s auctions

Christie’s have announced the upcoming sales of artwork from the personal collection of singer Andy Williams.

Known as ‘The Legend’, Williams rose from a childhood church choir to become one of the world’s most famous entertainers.

His career saw him record classic songs including ‘Can't Take My Eyes Off You’ and the Oscar-winning ‘Moon River’, in addition to hosting numerous hit television shows and opening his very own Moon River Theatre in Missouri – where he continued to perform regularly until his death in 2012.

Williams’ second love was art, and during his 60-year career he built an extensive collection encompassing everything from Impressionist and Modern to African, tribal and American Folk Art.

He once described how he first became a collector of art. “My first interest was French impressionist painting but of course I didn’t have any money. So, I bought prints, $2 or $5 a print. I was about 25 years old. I was early in my career… When I made a little bit of money, then I started to buy lithographs for $75. That’s how I could afford Picasso. But that is all I could afford. When I started to make money I started to buy pictures. But that was in the 60s.”

The Christie’s Impressionist & Modern Art sale in New York on May 8-9 will feature several works from Williams’ collection, by artists including Pablo Picasso, Paul Klee, Egon Schiele, Henry Moore and Alexander Archipenko.

These will be followed on May 15-16 by the Post-War & Contemporary Art sale, which will highlight Williams’ passion for the New York School of artists which emerged in the 1950s. Notable lots will include important works by Willem de Kooning, Ed Ruscha, Kenneth Noland, Richard Diebenkorn, Hans Hoffman and Sam Francis.

Several more works from his extensive collection will be offered in the American Art sale on May 23 and the Latin American Art sale on May 30 – ending with a selection of rare African sculptures which will feature in the African Art sale in Paris on June12.

“He was as passionate about his art collecting as he was about music,” says Robert Manley, Christie’s Specialist Head of the Post-War and Contemporary Art Department. “He began haunting the world’s top galleries and museums in the 1950s and never stopped. He had the exceptional ability to recognize quality in every category that he turned his attention to—a rare gift among collectors.”


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