DFW philanthropist Anne H. Bass’s $250 million art collection is up for auction

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A collection of 12 works of art belonging to the late Fort Worth philanthropist Bass by Anne Hendricks arrives at auction in May in a sale expected to fetch more than $250 million.

The dozen artworks come from the Bass’ Fifth Avenue apartment in New York. She was the ex-wife of Sid Bass, the Fort Worth investor and oil heir whose net worth is estimated at $3.4 billion.

Anne H. Bass died of ovarian cancer in April 2020 at the age of 78. A longtime resident of the Dallas-Fort Worth area, she was a strong supporter of local nonprofits and arts organizations, including Jewel Charity Ball, Junior League, Texas Ballet Theater, the Cliburn, Fort Worth Symphony Orchestra and the Museum of Modern Art.

“These 12 works form a singularly compelling narrative that speaks to both the power of the connoisseur and the enduring relevance and radicality that characterize the greatest works of art,” says Christie’s, the acclaimed auction house that sells “The Collection of Anne H. Bass.”

The auction will take place in May during Christie’s annual 20th and 21st Century art sales week in New York.

Christie’s describes the collection as an assemblage of “deeply rigorous yet deeply personal masterpieces, shaped by her remarkably informed eye and feminine perspective in a world dominated by male collectors”.

“Guided by extensive knowledge and insight, Ms. Bass acquired works and presented them to her home in a way that established provocative dialogues across artistic periods – a poetic call and response spanning two centuries. “, adds Christie’s.

Among the works sold are:

  • Four paintings by Claude Monet collectively valued between $105 and $165 million.
  • Two paintings by American artist Mark Rothko collectively valued between $105 and $145 million.
  • A bronze sculpture by French artist Edgar Degas worth $20-30 million.
  • A painting by the French artist Balthus valued between 4 and 6 million dollars.

The Anne Bass collection “represents everything that today’s buyers are looking for: masterpiece quality, rarity, incredible freshness on the market and, above all, the reflection of a sophisticated collector who knew the perfection when she saw it,” said Bonnie Brennan, president of Christie’s. Americas, said in a press release.

Ahead of the auction, selected pieces from the collection will be on display April 5-8 in London and April 20-21 in Hong Kong before being returned to New York.

“As a collector, Anne Bass was timeless,” says Alex Rotter, Christie’s Chairman for 20th and 21st Century Art. “Truly passionate about art in all its forms, not only did she appreciate beautiful objects, but she lived with them. These paintings and sculptures were more than mere possessions for Mrs. Bass; they were part of his home and part of his daily life.

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