Property from the Camilla and Earl McGrath Collection
Stair Galleries is pleased to be offering for sale property from the Camilla and Earl McGrath Collection in our spring auctions. Fourteen lots from the collection will be offered in our April 22-23rd English, Continental & American Fine Art, Furniture and Decorations auction, including paintings by Auguste Toulmouche and Stanislas Lepri, two Fulco de Vedura gouaches, and a pair of Italian Rococo giltwood mirrors. The core of the collection is an eclectic mix of contemporary art and ethnographic objects from the McGrath’s New York City apartment that will be offered in our Modern & Contemporary auction on June 3, 2017.
Camilla and Earl McGrath surrounded themselves with creative people and interesting things, including works of art given to them by their many artist friends. Earl met the glamorous Italian countess, Camilla Pecci-Blunt, while working in Italy and they married in 1963. McGrath spent much of the 1960’s in the film industry in Los Angeles where he met Atlantic Records president Ahmet Ertegun. In 1970, Ertegun asked McGrath to join the company, naming him president of the Rolling Stones’ record label seven years later. The McGraths toured with the Stones, living a jetset lifestyle during the hey-day of rock and roll. Camilla was a talented photographer, capturing their glamorous and bohemian lifestyle in thousands of photographs. Their close circle of friends included luminaries in all the creative fields, including Joan Didion, Anjelica Huston, and artists Brice Marden, Larry Rivers, Cy Twombly and Robert Graham. Earl was drawn to the visual artists, making the natural transition from collector to gallery owner when he left the music industry in the 1980s and transformed their West Hollywood home into a gallery space that showcased established and emerging artists. A New York City gallery was soon to follow. The McGraths were passionate about art and creative expression, hosting gatherings in their home in Los Angeles and their apartment in New York where the “who’s who” of art, music and culture could meet. They travelled and entertained extensively, advocating for artists and creative visionaries of all sorts. Camilla and Earl McGrath lived a charmed life in the company of objects and works of art that demonstrate the bonds they created with the artists they called friends.
Highlights from the collection include works by Larry Rivers, Andy Warhol, Robert Graham, Niki de Saint Phalle, and Annie Liebowitz. Also included in the June 3rd auction will be a selection of objects and collectibles from antiquity to the present day.