Francey and Martin Gecht started their collecting life together in the 1960's. Beginning with Japanese wood block prints they swiftly transferred their interests to the lithographs of Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec and gradually expanded the scope to include Nineteenth and Twentieth Century American and European Works on Paper and Prints. The collection was the subject of notable Exhibition at The Art Institute of Chicago in 2003-4.
An inspection of the collection housed high above Lake Shore Drive in Chicago revealed the passion and intelligence of the collectors, by hanging prints, drawings and watercolors together the Gecht's set up conversations between the various periods of individual artists works, between artistic contemporaries and with artists who preceded or succeeded them. In their quest they worked closely with staff of the Art Institute, most specifically with the late Harold Joachim, Douglas Druick and Suzanne Folds McCullough. Martin joined the Committee on Prints and Drawings in 1975 and the Gechts were regular contributors to the collection. They were further guided by various dealers, most notably Alice Adam and with Bud Holland. However the dialogue which was set up in the rooms overlooking Lake Michigan was a reflection of the Gecht's love of their objects and their own tastes and likes came through clearly.
Once the walls were full it became clear that the only surfaces left were the window sills and tables throughout the apartment and so sculpture was added into the mix, the great Calder reclining nude arrived fairly early on but she was soon joined by other sculptures by Matisse, Picasso, Miro, Giacometti and others. Following their generous gift to The Art Institute of a large number of the Prints and Drawings from the collection, it is a group of these sculptures that Mrs. Gecht has decided to consign to Christie's for our spring sales of Impressionist and Modern and Post War and Contemporary Art in early May. The Toulouse Lautrec-La Gouloue will be offered in the Print sale on May 3rd and the oldest piece in the collection, a second century figure of Isis will be offered in the Antiquities sale on June 8th.
PROPERTY FROM THE FRANCEY AND DR. MARTIN L. GECHT COLLECTION