Mary M. and Robert M. Montgomery, Jr., dedicated themselves to the arts, both in their private collecting and in their hometown community of Palm Beach. They remain widely recognized as deeply committed members of their community, as ardent lovers of the arts and as dedicated benefactors of culture. Beyond their own collection, which includes pieces from multiple artistic movements and collecting categories, Mr. and Mrs. Montgomery maintained a passionate commitment to the thriving cultural scene of Palm Beach. They fostered an appreciation for theater and music as well as the visual arts, and the couple sought to support the local institutions that enabled wide access to these cultural tenants. An aficionado of the opera, Mr. Montgomery was Chairman of the Board of his cherished Palm Beach Opera for 25 years, and, throughout that time, he and Mrs. Montgomery generously contributed to its programming. Mr. Montgomery was also a principal benefactor of the Raymond F. Kravis Center for the Performing Arts, an institution widely regarded as having changed the cultural landscape of Palm Beach. Alongside their support of the Armory Art Center in West Palm Beach, the Montgomerys founded the Palm Beach Institute of Contemporary Art.
The couple created an enduring legacy, “a museum in [their] house,” curating a strong collection of fine and decorative arts, objects and jewellery. Christie’s is proud to offer their collection in a range of live and online sales during the remainder of 2020 and into 2021. Highlights will include the Montgomerys’ extensive Tiffany collection that features their Fruit ceiling fixture; Mrs. Montgomery’s favourite Pebble table lamp, constructed from pebbles that Louis Tiffany discovered on the shores of Long Island; and the iconic Wisteria and Laburnum lamps that showcase the full grandeur of Tiffany’s artistry in glass. Beyond lighting, the Collection includes a 13.63 carat rectangular-cut diamond ring, a Cartier ruby and diamond fringe necklace, extraordinary silver and strong examples of 20th century fine art.