NEW YORK—Christie’s has announced that it will sell nearly the entire inventory of Bernard Goldberg Fine Arts, New York, which recently closed its doors, after 12 years of operation. The collection of 176 paintings, sculptures, works on paper and works of decorative art will be featured in several upcoming Christie’s auctions, including its evening sale of Impressionist and modern art on May 4, its Impressionist and modern day sale on May 5, its auction of American art on May 20, its sale of 20th-century decorative arts and design on June 17, its sale of American art on Sept. 28, and its sale of American furniture and folk art on Sept. 29. Christie’s experts have given the collection an overall estimate of $7million/10million.
“It’s time for a change,” said gallery owner Bernard Goldberg, who is retiring. A self-described “micromanager,” Goldberg, 77, told ARTnewsletter, “I do all the buying, take care of all the conservation and framing and installation of shows.” He said there is no one to pass his business on to, and he preferred that his two daughters—one is a professional pianist, the other a lawyer—not have to step in to take over the gallery in the event that he should become unable to do so.
Among the works to be sold are Guy Pene du Bois’s oil Place Messena, Nice, 1930 (estimate: $150,000/250,000); Jacques Lipchitz’s green-patinated bronze sculpture Spanish Dancer, 1914 (estimate: $400,000/600,000); Edward Steichen’s oil on canvas Moonlit Landscape, 1907 (estimate: $300,000/500,000); and Marsden Hartley’s oil Roses for Seagulls that Lose Their Way, 1935–36 (estimate $300,000/500,000). “Christie’s estimated the Hartley conservatively,” Goldberg said. “I think it will do a lot better.” The auction house will exhibit works from the collection in Chicago and Los Angeles before the sales.
Goldberg, a longtime private collector who worked as a lawyer and hotel developer before opening his Manhattan gallery in 1998, began acquiring artworks with his late wife, Monica Dennis Goldberg, in 1968. The first painting the couple bought was George Bellows’s oil Cyrus Jones’ Place, 1920, which Goldberg still owns. “It’s hanging in my living room right now,” he told ARTnewsletter. “We bought it with our wedding money.”
Now that he has closed his gallery, Goldberg has plans for “charitable ventures,” unrelated to the art trade, he said.