There are many Bass Collections in the United States. The Bass, Miami, holds around 500 works from the collection of John and Johanna Bass, Jewish immigrants from Vienna who made their home in Miami Beach. And you may have even heard about the recent bankruptcy auction of paintings by Sam Bass, a famous, official NASCAR-licensed artist suffering from debilitating medical debt. But this November, Christie’s is auctioning off a fantastic selection of works from the other Bass family – Nancy Lee and Perry Bass – known as the First Couple of Fort Worth.
Perry Richardson Bass was the nephew and business partner of Texas cattle rancher and oilman Sid W. Richardson. When Richardson died, he left several million dollars of his fortune to his nephew Perry, who, through brilliant investment choices, grew that inheritance to more than $1 billion, becoming one of the 1,000 wealthiest Americans before he died in 2006.
Perry married Nancy in 1941, and the two spent their life collecting art and donating money liberally to the charitable and cultural institutions of Texas. Their art collection includes rare works by some of the most important names in 19th and 20th century art, including Raoul Dufy, Edouard Vuillard, Serge Poliakoff, Jean-Paul Riopelle, Vincent Van Gogh, Henri Matisse, Mark Rothko, Marc Chagall, and Joan Miró. The works will be offered throughout multiple auctions at Christies between 13 and 16 November. For more information, click here.
Left: Vincent Van Gogh (1853-1890), Laboureur dans un champ, oil on canvas, 1889. Estimate on Request
Right: Mark Rothko (1903-1970), Untitled, oil on paper mounted on canvas, 1969. Estimate: $10-15 million
Courtesy of Christie's.