The Art Collection of Terry Allen Kramer, the Flashy Heiress Who Produced ‘Kinky Boots,’ Is Heading to Christie’s This Fall

Led by works from Picasso, Pissarro, and Matisse, Kramer’s collection is expected to fetch as much as $21 million.

Terry Allen Kramer and Bongo-Bongo the Dog on June 17, 2008 in New York City. Photo: Billy Farrell /Patrick McMullan via Getty Images.
Terry Allen Kramer and Bongo-Bongo the Dog on June 17, 2008 in New York City. Photo: Billy Farrell /Patrick McMullan via Getty Images.

Terry Allen Kramer, the late heiress and theater producer behind Kinky Boots, Hello, Dolly!, and The Goat, or Who Is Sylvia?, was as famous for her lavish, art-filled homes and she was for the five Tony Awards to her name. Before she died in May of this year, her stacked collection of Impressionist and Modern artwork—including major pieces by Picasso, Degas and Matisse—were displayed across her New York City penthouse and her opulent mansion in Palm Beach, Florida.

Now, you can get a taste of Kramer’s signature style—and, if you have enough money, own a piece of it, too. Beginning this fall, more than 260 pieces from Kramer’s estate will hit the auction block across multiple sales at Christie’s New York. Together, they are estimated to bring in as much as $21 million.

Kramer’s collection “reflects the spirit of adventure and sense of fun she was legendary for, spanning the best of Modern art from the late-19th to mid-20th centuries,” Max Carter, head of Christie’s Impressionist and Modern art department, said in a statement. “There’s a sense of vividness and immediacy to it.”

At a dedicated sale on October 16, a selection of Kramer’s porcelain, prints, furniture, and decor will be held at the auction house’s Rockefeller Center headquarters. But the greatest hits of the producer’s storied collection will be saved for Christie’s evening sale of Impressionist and Modern art on November 11.

Camille Pissarro, <i>Jardin et poulailler chez Octave Mirbeau, Les Damps</i> (1892). Courtesy of Christie’s New York.

Camille Pissarro, Jardin et poulailler chez Octave Mirbeau, Les Damps (1892). Courtesy of Christie’s New York.

The top lot is Pablo Picasso’s painting Buste d’homme (1968), which is estimated to sell for between $9 million and $12 million. Also on offer is Camille Pissarro’s 1892 canvas Jardin et poulailler chez Octave Mirbeau, Les Damps (which carries a pre-sale estimate of $4 million to $6 million) and a 1937 drawing by Salvador Dalí, Naissance de l’ameublement paranoïaque, which was used as the basis for his Mae West lips couch ($700,000 to $1 million).

Kramer was born in New York in 1933, the daughter of Wall Street financier Charles Allen, Jr. Though she didn’t produce her first play until age 41, she quickly developed a reputation for backing big-budget productions, including several major revivals, that would go on to become long-running hits.

Battling complications from pneumonia, Kramer died in Manhattan in May. She was 85. 

The producer’s southeast Florida estate, a 37,500-square-foot Italian Renaissance-style mansion called La Follia, sold for $105 million earlier this summer. The sale broke an 11-year-old Palm Beach record previously set when Donald Trump sold his mansion to Russian billionaire Dmitry Rybolovlev for $95 million in 2008. Kramer’s Manhattan penthouse is currently on the market for $45 million.

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