PROPERTY FROM THE ESTATE OF ABRAM LERNER
A Manhattan native, Abram Lerner (1913-2007) was the founding director of the Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden, Smithsonian Institution, in Washington, DC. After graduating from NYU, Mr. Lerner began his career as an art historian and a painter, working on a WPA mural project through the 1930s. He became director of the ACA Gallery in New York in 1947, where he met Joseph Hirshhorn, an energetic and enthusiastic collector. They developed a close professional rapport and eventually Mr. Lerner accepted the position of private curator to Mr. Hirshhorn's collection. In the 1960s, Hirshhorn began to plan a museum under Mr. Lerner's guidance. After considering several locations, President Lyndon B. Johnson convinced Hirshhorn to donate his collection as a national museum on the Washington Mall. During Mr. Lerner's ten-year tenure as Director of the Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden, he supervised the installation of the collection and established a dynamic schedule of both loan and collection-based exhibitions. His wide-ranging and varied private collection reveals a broadminded intelligence and generous spirit. Christie's is pleased to offer selections from his estate in the current sale.