Merce Cunninghams Art Collection to Be Sold

Merce Cunninghams Art Collection to Be Sold
The art collection of the late dancer and choreographer Merce Cunningham is headed to Christie’s on Nov. 11 and 12. When it does, bidders will have the opportunity to acquire gifts from his many of his friends and collaborators, including Jasper Johns and Robert Rauschenberg.

Among the works for sale are Diagrams on a Plane, Merce Cunningham (1981), a painting by Jasper Johns in his trademark cross-hatch style that is inscribed to the choreographer, and a 1961 Robert Rauschenberg work on paper, which the artist gave to composer John Cage, Cunningham’s artistic and life partner, who died in 1992.

At the time of his death earlier this year, many considered Cunningham to be the greatest living choreographer. The sale, which organizers hope will generate between $3.5 and $5 million, will help fund the Merce Cunningham Trust, which maintains his estate and promotes his work.

Amazingly, Laura Kuhn, a member of the Cunningham Trust’s board, says that Cunningham never thought to insure the collection, though it contains the work of so many reputed masters. Asked what would happen if his artworks were destroyed in a fire, he explained, "Our friends would paint us new ones."

Read more at the New York Times.