HER PRESTIGIOUS ART COLLECTION

 

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In addition to jewels, Paulette Goddard was a renowned collector of Egyptian and Western Asian antiques, pre-Colombian objects, ancient furniture, oriental rugs, and masterpieces, most notably from the Impressionist period.

She truly began collecting high-value objects with Burgess Meredith when they opened, in 1947, an antiques store and an art gallery they named High Tor Associates in New York State. At that time they specialized in English and American antiques from the 17th and 18th century. After a few years they sold the store to the composer Alan Jay Lerner. After their divorce, Burgess either kept or recovered several works of art originally belonging to Paulette, including a sketch by Jean Cocteau (1936) and a drawing by Diego Rivera showing two female nudes (1943).

However, it was with Erich Maria Remarque , himself a great collector, that Paulette amasses an important and formidable collection. At the time of Erich’s death, Paulette inherited a great fortune and became the owner of numerous works of art including paintings, sketches, and pastels such as Paul Cézanne, Edgar Degas, Claude Monet, Amedeo Modigliani, Camille Pissarro, Pierre-Auguste Renoir, Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec and his friends Salvador Dali, Diego Rivera and Andy Warhol.

Her art collection has been valued at several million dollars; and it also includes (according to some biographies) several watercolors by composer George Gershwin , original portraits of Donald Duck and Mickey Mouse, as well as many original books autographed by their authors, including Aldous Huxley, Clifford Odets, H.G. Wells or Anita Loos.

 

At the end of the seventies, she chose to put a large portion of her art collection up for auction through Sotheby’s :

  • 32 Oriental and Persian rugs (Ushaks, Isfahans, and Manluks) auctioned off in London in 1976 earning about $185,000 (other rugs are sold during the nineties, such as a Perisan Khorossan prayer rug from the 17th century),
  • some bronzes and antiques, mainly Chinese and Egyptian (such as a small statue in blue faience from Ushabti of Pinudjem I, from the 21st Dynasty, 1075-944 BC), auctioned off in London in 1977,  
  • 29 paintings and sketches, auctioned off in 1979 in New York, brought her the largest sum: $3.1 million.  Among the paintings were Cézanne (Landscape in Provence), Monet (Venice, Doge’s Palace), Pissarro (Garden of the Louvre Fog Effect) and works by Degas, Daumier, and Renoir,
  • Egyptian funeral portraits, auctioned off in 1979 in New York,
  • Paintings by Diego Rivera, auctioned off in 1984, including Flower Vendor or The Calla Lilies from 1941 (sold for $429,000) and Young Woman with Sunflowers from 1941 (sold for $242,000),
  • A drawing from 1891 : Le chirurgien Péan opérant by Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec, auctioned off in 1985, in New York,
  • A drawing from 1884: Study for the artistic program of the evening of May 15, 1884 (Ponsin Gallery) by Edgar Degas, auctioned off in 1987 in New York.

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Diego Rivera's paintings, Portrait of Paulette Goddard, painted between 1940 and 1941, left by Paulette’s will to a religious, charitable, scientific, or educational institution to be chosen by her will’s executor was sold at auction in 1999, by Christie’s in New York, for the sum of $552,500.

 

See some of Paulette’s paintings and art object .

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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