Romance author Danielle Steel is the latest public figure to surprise us by owning an art collection, some of which will hit the auction block at Clars Auction Gallery from July 25–26.
The Steel Stinson Collection, which up until recently was housed in Steel’s estate on Stinson Beach, California features paintings, sculptures, and multimedia works by artists including John Beech, Kati Casida, Peter Forakis, Tom McKinley, Doug Owen, Julie Speidel.
Steel is parting ways with the collection following the sale of her oceanfront property.
While she’s best known for penning best-selling beach reads, Steel has been an avid art lover for decades. In 2003, she opened Steel Gallery, a San Francisco space catering to emerging and lesser-known artists. The gallery shuttered in 2007, but Steel continues to curate occasional shows at the nearby Andrea Schwartz Gallery.
“I have always longed to own a Mary Cassatt, but no matter how successful I become, they are always just out of my reach,” writes Steel on her personal website. “I love Degas, Renoir, most of the impressionists, and would love to own a Chagall (one of the flying couples, I love his brides), but I can’t afford one.”
Unlike many of today’s more notable collectors, Steel claims not to be interested in art as an investment. “I have always felt that it doesn’t have to be expensive,” she writes. “I just have to love it. I’ve spent a chunk of change on a few pieces I love…and have bought other paintings or sculptures for nearly nothing. I am irreverent about its fiscal value.”
Despite Steel’s personal disinterest in the market, Clars estimates the total value of the Steel Stinson Collection at over $100,000.
The auction will also feature several antique dolls from the collection of Lee and Richard Trotter, as well as jewelry, watches, decorative arts and furnishings, and several works of Asian art.
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