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Rodgers Art Collection to Be Auctioned

September 25, 1992|SUZANNE MUCHNIC | TIMES ART WRITER

An $11-million art collection from the estate of composer Richard Rodgers and his wife, Dorothy, will be offered for sale this fall in three Christie's New York auctions.

Twenty-six of the most valuable pieces, including paintings by Pablo Picasso, Pierre-Auguste Renoir and Henri Matisse valued at a total of $10 million, will go on the block Nov. 11. The most expensive item is Picasso's 1914 Cubist painting "Guitar and Newspaper," valued at $3 million to $4 million. Another Picasso, "The Spanish Dancer," painted in 1901 when the artist was 20, is estimated to sell for $1.8 million to $2.5 million.

The auction house also expects Maurice de Vlaminck's 1907 "Still Life" to hit the million-dollar mark. The Fauvist painting, portraying a bird's-eye view of swirling drapery, pottery and a vase of flowers on a table, is estimated to sell for $1 million to $1.5 million. Other paintings in the sale include a portrait of a young girl by Renoir and still-lifes by Matisse and Pierre Bonnard. Works on paper and sculpture also will be offered.

The remaining $1-million worth of the art will be put up for auction in contemporary art sales Nov. 18 and 19, and in an auction of antiquities Dec. 15.

Rodgers, who died in 1979, had a six-decade career in musical theater. Working on Broadway with lyricist Lorenz Hart, his credits included "Babes in Arms" and "Pal Joey." Rogers' subsequent partnership with Oscar Hammerstein resulted in such hit musicals as "South Pacific," "Oklahoma!" and "The Sound of Music."

Dorothy Rodgers, a writer, interior designer and inventor whose patented creations include McCall's "Basically Yours" dress patterns and Ideal Toy Co.'s "Turn and Learn" storybooks, died last month.

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