Goldwyn Film Family to Sell $30 Million Collection at Sotheby’s, Led by Picasso and Matisse

One Picasso portrait could fetch up to $18 million.

Pablo Picasso, Femme au Chignon Dans un Fauteuil (1948).
Pablo Picasso, Femme au Chignon Dans un Fauteuil (1948). Photo: courtesy the estate of Pablo Picasso/Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York/Sotheby's.

The Goldwyn family, the great Hollywood film dynasty, will sell its art collection following the death of producer Samuel Goldwyn Jr. two months ago. With an estimated worth of $25 million–$30 million, the collection will be parceled out over nine auctions at Sotheby’s New York between May and October.

The centerpieces of Goldwyn’s holdings are Pablo Picasso’s Femme au Chignon Dans un Fauteuil (1948), a portrait of the artist’s lover Françoise Gilotand, and Anémones et Grenades (1946), a Matisse still life. The Picasso is estimated to sell for as much as $18 million, while the Matisse, bought for $13,500 in 1948, is tagged at upwards of $5 million.

Both paintings will be on offer at the house’s Impressionist and modern art evening sale on May 5. The collection also includes works by Milton Avery, David Hockney, and Diego Rivera.

Pioneering film mogul Samuel Goldwyn Sr., lent his name to MGM studios and ran Samuel Goldwyn Productions. His wife, Frances, may have been largely responsible for his purchases, according to Catherine Goldwyn, daughter of Goldwyn Jr., who told the New York Times that “she would present it to the outside world as his eye, but the archives show that she was more involved.”

The third generation of Goldwyns remains a force in the film industry, with Catherine’s brothers John and Tony working as a producer and actor, respectively. John’s credits include the Ben Stiller film The Secret Life of Walter Mitty (2013), co-produced with his father, and the comedy MacGruber (2010), while Tony played Shailene Woodley’s father in Divergent (2014) and stars as the president in the popular ABC series Scandal.

Goldwyn Sr. won the Academy Award for Best Picture for 1946’s The Best Years of Our Lives, while his son’s credits include Master and Commander: The Far Side of the World (2003) and Mystic Pizza (1988).

Former Sotheby’s chief auctioneer Tobias Meyer, who left the company in 2013 after 20 years, is serving as an adviser to the family.

Also for sale is the late film producer’s Beverly Hills estate, an almost 11,000-square-foot Georgian-inspired mansion built in 1934 by Goldwyn Sr., listed at $39 million.

For more of artnet News’ coverage of auctions of major private art collections see:

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