On occasion, Christie's has a direct financial interest in the outcome of the sale of certain lots consigned for sale. This will usually be where it has guaranteed to the Seller that whatever the outcome of the auction, the Seller will receive a minimum sale price for the work. This is known as a minimum price guarantee. This is such a lot.
Samuel Kootz, New York (acquired from the artist).
Sidney Janis Gallery, New York (1947).
Lydia and Harry Lewis Winston, Michigan (acquired from the above, 12 November 1953).
Lydia Winston Malbin, New York (by descent from the above).
By descent from the above to the present owners.
Property from the Family and Collection of Lydia Winston Malbin
Lydia Winston Malbin began collecting during the 1940s while living outside Detroit, Michigan with her first husband, Harry Winston, and their children. Mrs. Winston Malbin was at the vanguard as a collector based on her educated eye and as a woman who was largely collecting on her own terms. That she ultimately formed one of the world's foremost 20th century private collections was the result of her formidable energy, passion for the arts, and relentless pursuit of what appealed to her personally regardless of the norms of the day. In her own right, she was an accomplished ceramicist with a M.F.A. from the Cranbrook Academy of Arts in 1944.
At the heart of the Winston Malbin collection was Italian Futurism, which she came to through personal friendships with artists such as Severini, and the families of Boccioni and Balla. Until then the movement which was founded in 1909 had been largely overlooked by collectors. Its glorification of speed and expression of dynamic motion in space strongly engaged the interest of Lydia Winston Malbin. Her relationship with Severini led to a friendship with Bendetta Marinetti, the wife of the founder of Futurism, which in turn led to a lifelong friendship with the daughter of Balla and Boccioni's sister. Through these relationships she was able to acquire major Futurist paintings, sculptures, drawings and original documents.
The wider collection was built carefully and focused on the dialogue that was created between the various movements and styles - how they overlapped and informed each other. Her collection contained not only the great Futurist artists but additionally 20th century modern masters such as Picasso, Miró, Arp, Calder, Léger, Kandinsky, Mondrian and Pollock. Adding further dimension, she later included works from contemporary artists such as Frank Stella, Morris Lewis and Kenneth Noland. Her Pollock was acquired directly from Peggy Guggenheim's Art of this Century and was the first Pollock to enter a private collection. Her Brancusi was bought directly from the reclusive artist while visiting him in his studio in Paris.
Throughout her life Lydia Winston Malbin counted many as her friends and mentors in the art world. She established relationships with many of the great dealers of the 40's and 50's, including Alfred Stieglitz Her close friendships included artists, collectors, and museum directors including Peggy Guggenheim, Alfred H Barr, Jr., James Johnson Sweeney, Clement Greenberg and Wilhelm Sandberg. According to her family, perhaps her greatest joy was to share her knowledge and enthusiasm with the innumerable groups of students who visited her home using her collection and documentation as a study tool.
She also shared her passion by frequently lending her works for exhibitions. Among others, her collection was exhibited in its entirely in Futurism, A Modern Focus: Solomon Guggenheim Museum, 1973. She was a major lender to inaugural exhibition of the opening of the East Wing of the National Gallery in 1978 and to Boccioni: A Retrospective exhibition at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in 1988, one year before her death in 1989.
Lydia Winston Malbin's philosophy of collecting is best reflected in her comments from an essay in the catalogue of Collecting Modern Art, Detroit Insitute of Arts, 1957
In selecting works of art, we have proceeded on the basis of consistency. Sometimes we have displayed a spirit of daring or boldness. We have never feared criticism but respected it. On every occasion we have been honest in our preferences and this makes for coherence and unity. We select, first and foremost, that which definitely arrests us, - that contains elements and qualities which we believe will gain in interest as time goes on, - even though they do not immediately meet the eye. Quality counts above all else. The charming, the pretty, the decorative, the too appealing and popular, we do not trust. A work of lasting interest must go far beyond this.
Christie's is honored to offer this work from The Collection and Family of Lydia Winston Malbin.
(fig. 1) Lydia Winston Malbin. BARCODE 25010251
(fig. 2) Mr. and Mrs. Harry L. Winston boarding Queen Elizabeth in 1951 with Gino Severini's Sea=Dancer. BARCODE 25010268
(fig. 3) Malbin living room, 1969. BARCODE 26007137
H. and S. Janis, Picasso--The Recent Years, New York, 1946, pl. 73 (illustrated).
C. Zervos, Pablo Picasso, Paris, 1960, vol. 11, p. 58 (illustrated, pl. 144).
D. Cooper, ed., Great Private Collections, New York, 1963, p. 292 (illustrated in color, p. 293).
B. Mancewicz, "Birmingham Woman Has Outstanding Collection of Futurists," in The Grand Rapids Press, 13 May 1973 (illustrated).
M.-L. Bernadac, Picasso vu par Brassaï, exh. cat., Musée Picasso, Paris, June-September 1987, p. 90 (illustrated).
The Picasso Project, ed., Picasso's Paintings, Watercolors, Drawings and Sculpture: Nazi Occupation 1940-1944, San Francisco, 1999, p. 23, no. 41-057 (illustrated).
Ann Arbor, The University of Michigan Museum of Art, 20th Century Painting and Sculpture from the Collection of Mr. and Mrs. Harry Lewis Winston, October-November 1955, p. 15, no. 56.
The Detroit Institute of Arts; Richmond, Virginia Museum of Art; San Francisco Museum of Art; Milwaukee Art Institute and Minneapolis, Walker Art Center, Collecting Modern Art--Paintings, Sculpture and Drawings from the Collection of Mr. and Mrs. Harry Lewis Winston, September 1957-August 1958, p. 70, no. 86 (illustrated, p. 69).
The Detroit Institute of Arts, The Varied Works of Picasso, May-June 1962.
Forth Worth Art Center Museum and Dallas Museum of Fine Arts, Picasso Retrospective Exhibitions, February-March 1967, p. 96, no. 64.
The Detroit Institute of Arts, Selections from the Lydia and Harry Lewis Winston Collection (Dr. and Mrs. Barnett Malbin), July 1972-April 1973.
New York, The Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, Futurism, A Modern Focus: The Lydia and Harry Lewis Winston Collection, Autumn 1973, p. 163, no. 84 (illustrated in color).
Williamstown, Williams College Museum of Art (on extended loan 1990-2007).
Williamstown, Williams College Museum of Art, Surrealism and its Affinities, October 1990-January 1991.
Williamstown, Williams College Museum of Art, European Modernism: Selections from the Permanent Collection, October 1992-February 1993. Williamstown, Williams College Museum of Art, Picasso 1881-1973: Selections from the Collection, July-December 1993.
Williamstown, Williams College Museum of Art, Modernism: European & American Art 1900-1950 from the Permanent Collection, January 1994-July 1995.
Williamstown, Williams College Museum of Art, Painting Changes: Prendergast and his Contemporaries 1850-1950, August-May 1997.
Williamstown, Williams College Museum of Art, Convulsive Beauty: The Image of Women in Surrealism, September-December 1995, no. 17.
Williamstown, Williams College Museum of Art, Lessons for Looking at Women: Selections from the Permanent Collection, October 1996-February 1997.
Williamstown, Williams College Museum of Art, Inventing the 20th Century: Selections from the Permanent Collection, June 1997-June 2000.
Williamstown, Williams College Museum of Art, The Edges of Impressionism, February 1998-June 2000.
Williamstown, Williams College Museum of Art, Celebrating 75 Years: Masterpieces from the Collection, February 2001-August 2007.