Sotheby’s Is Selling Off the Collection of Christo and Jeanne-Claude, Including Cookie Jars Once Owned by Andy Warhol

The cookie jars used to sit on Christo and Jeanne-Claude's refrigerator.

Christo and Jeanne-Claude at their studio at 48 Howard Street in New York. Photo Wolfgang Volz. © The Estate of Christo V. Javacheff.

Sotheby’s will offer a sprawling array of works from the estate of artists Christo and Jeanne-Claude next year. The sale will feature nearly 400 lots, including works by artists and famous friends such as Marcel Duchamp, Lucio Fontana, Yves Klein, Claes Oldenburg, and Andy Warhol. The February sale is estimated to top $4 million.

Proceeds will go back to the artists’ estate, which plans to establish a foundation.

The couple lined the walls of their Lower Manhattan studio with pieces by artists they befriended over decades, along with their own artworks, which they sold to realize their self-financed public artworks.

The sale includes works by the duo related to projects including The Pont Neuf Wrapped, Project for Paris and The Umbrellas, Joint Project for Japan and USA.

The sale includes material for various budgets. If you have $1 million on hand, there’s Andy Warhol’s 1964 Jackie, estimated to sell for $975,000.

But for the less well-off, there’s also a pair of cookie jars that once belonged to Warhol and that sat atop Christo and Jeanne-Claude’s refrigerator. They’re tagged at $365. One is shaped, appropriately enough, like a bunch of bananas.

Inside Christo & Jeane-Claude's Studio. Credit_ André Grossman © The Estate of Christo V. Javacheff.

The cookie jars inside Christo & Jeane-Claude’s studio. Credit: André Grossman © The Estate of Christo V. Javacheff.

The sale will take place at the auction house’s Paris showroom several months ahead of the date of the wrapping of the Arc de Triomphe, the final work Christo planned before his death.

(That project was to take place in 2020 but the artist pushed it off to 2021 to protect birds that nest there before he died in May, aged 84, from natural causes.)

Several of the items testify to the duo’s friendships. Christo met Lucio Fontana at the opening of a 1963 show by the Italian artist, who dedicated Concetto Spaziale, Attesa (1963), to Jeanne-Claude.

The sale includes no fewer than three early Claes Oldenburg works—Bacon and Egg, Ice Cream, and Beef Steak—that are dedicated to Christo. The artists met in Paris and were later neighbors at New York’s storied Chelsea Hotel. Those are estimated at $49,000.

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