Thirty-five Old Master drawings from the collection of the late designer Herbert Kasper will go under the hammer at Christie’s next month.
The gentlemanly designer, known as ‘Kasper’, passed away last year at the age of 93. He developed an extensive art collection, an activity that was first sparked while a student in Paris in the 1950s.
A live sale, “Always in Style: Old Master Drawings From the Collection of Herbert Kasper”, is scheduled for October 14th. Additional works will be offered at various other upcoming auctions, including the “20th Century Art Evening Sale”, the “Post-War and Contemporary Art Day Sale” and the “Design Sale”, among others. With more than 129 lots, the collection is expected to exceed $ 11.5 million, according to the auction house. A portion of the profits will be donated to a charity, which was not disclosed, according to a spokesperson for Christie’s.
Born in New York City, Kasper attended New York University before serving in the United States Army in World War II. After the end of the war, he studied at the Parsons School of Design and attended the Ecole de la Chambre Syndicale de la Couture Parisienne to develop his design skills. In Paris, Kasper worked for Jacques Fath, Christian Dior and Marcel Rochas.
Returning to the United States, he worked first as a milliner for Mr. Fred, then as a clothing designer for Penart Fashions and Arnold & Fox. Kasper started his own brand Kasper Originals in the 1960s and then designed little dresses for Maison Petite. A three-time Coty American Fashion Critics Award winner and Coty Hall of Fame inductee, Kasper served as President of the Council of Fashion Designers of America in the late 1970s. Kasper has spent most of his career at Leslie Fay designing the JLSport and Kasper collections for ASL.
As a student in Paris, he made his first serious artistic acquisition, spending $ 100 on a romantic wash of Constantin Guys. Kasper’s art collection of works by Fra Bartolommeo, Giorgi Vasari, Pablo Picasso, Robert Mapplethorpe, and Jenny Holzer, among others, led to an exhibition at the Morgan Library in 2011. The designer was a life administrator at the Morgan Library & Museum, as well as a member of the director’s round table and the visiting committee of the Morgan Drawings and Prints Department. In addition to Old Masters, Kasper has collected modern and contemporary drawings and photographs. After discovering an exhibition of graffiti photos during a trip to Vienna in 2003, Kasper began to collect in this area.
Kasper once said of his art collection: “Quality has always been very important to me. This doesn’t mean that the works I collect are the best known by any particular artist, but they do feel like something original and important.
The designer’s collection was known for his drawings by old masters, especially modernist works from the 16th and 17th centuries. Some of them were donated to the Morgan Library.
Stijl Alsteens, Head of the International Department, Old Masters Drawings at Christie’s, said Kasper’s predominantly 16th-century figure studies “nonetheless call for surprise at the variety of schools, techniques, styles and functions that exist. ‘they represent”.
Christie’s will feature works by Parmigianino, Giulio Romano, Paolo Veronese, Giorgio Vasari, Giuseppe Cesari, Baccio Bandinelli, Taddeo Zuccaro and Sir Peter Paul Rubens and Hendrick Goltzius from the Kasper collection.
More contemporary works by Picasso, Jean-Michel Basquiat, Ed Ruscha, Hiroshi Sugimoto and Vik Muniz will also be offered in the coming months at Christie’s. Fernard Léger’s oil on canvas, entitled “La femme à la toilette”, is expected to bring in between $ 1.5 and $ 2 million.
Editor’s note: This article was updated on September 15 at 10:45 a.m.