Friday, August 19, 2011

Sotheby's and Christie's fight for Denver

Posted By on Fri, Aug 19, 2011 at 5:55 PM

1937 (PH-343) by Clyfford Still
  • Harholdt through the Clyfford Still Museum
  • "1937 (PH-343)" by Clyfford Still.

According to an article in Friday's Denver Post, the world's flagship auction houses are fighting to win a lucrative job in Denver. Christie's and Sotheby's each proposed bids to sell four Clyfford Still paintings for the city and county of Denver. Denver City Council approved Sotheby's, much to Christie's dismay. Now, the latter is making a lot of disapproving noise and hiring lawyers to unravel council's decision.

This kind of scuffle is deemed rather unseemly for big companies like these two, though I can't help but think Denver may be a bit charmed by such suitors. (Maybe that's my small-town envy talking, though.)

The reason behind the entire debate stems from a large gift of Still work — 800-plus pieces — given to the city of Denver back in 2004. The sale of a few will help fund the forthcoming Clyfford Still Museum.

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