Stair's Didion auction raises $1.9M for Parkinson's research
Phillip Pantuso reports for the Times Union that Hudson-based Stair Galleries November 16 auctioned objects, books, furnishings and ephemera from writer Joan Didion's Upper East Side apartment. The tone was set early when three minutes into the sale, a collection of Didion’s favorite books went for $26,000. A pair of Celine faux tortoiseshell sunglasses, which Didion wore in a 2015 ad campaign for the French fashion company, sold for $27,000. All told, the auction raised $1.9 million, most of which will benefit patient care and research into Parkinson’s disease, which claimed Didion’s life last December at the age of 87. Additional proceeds will fund a Sacramento City College scholarship for women in literature. The auction began at 11 a.m. and continued until nearly 7:30 p.m. The single most expensive item was a 1977 portrait of Didion by the California painter Leslie Johnson, which sold for $110,000. The auction included 224 lots from Didion’s estate, including furniture, fine art, books and objects, that were in the Upper East Side apartment Didion shared with her husband, the writer John Gregory Dunne, who died in 2003. Stair Galleries submitted its winning proposal to hold the auction after being asked by Art Advisory Group, which consults with estates on placing collections. "We’re thrilled to have won the business," said Lisa Thomas, director of the auction house’s fine arts department."This is the kind of sale that’s right in our wheelhouse." Read the full story in the Times Union.