Love, Liza: The Auction

Auction Details

Love, Liza: The Auction
We all have things that have accumulated through the years either by design or default, and with time they seem to take on a life of their own. We can become potential prisoners to those shelves and storage repositories that we maintain to preserve our past, or can be liberated by them. With a life and career as expansive and multi-layered as Liza’s, she has accumulated many things. There is her stuff, her mother’s stuff, her father’s, things from her tours and shows, memorabilia from fans, furniture, you name it. As for many, it is easier to put something in storage rather than take the time to deal with it. Who has time, anyway?

For 20 years, Liza has talked about her storage, and we have gone to look at some of it through the years, collected on both coasts in over a half dozen locations. I was put in charge of going through the film and video vaults, looking through road cases and show props as well as looking over a lot of her dad’s stuff that was stored in Beverly Hills. On it went. Every time amazing things would turn up. Liza would retrieve certain items that were meaningful and make sure the rest was safe. But it became overwhelming, with so many storage areas, and the realization that it could take a lifetime to get to it all.

In the last few years, she relocated to Los Angeles and made a conscious choice to simplify and relax for the first time in her life. Her home is furnished beautifully with her Warhols, Halston furnishings, paintings by her father and others, selective memorabilia and awards, and is done in clean, spare and elegant style. “Keep it simple” is her mantra. She sometimes calls me and says, “I woke up this morning and thought, what do I have to do today? Nothing. Then I relax and do whatever I want.” Then she sighs. After a lifetime of non-stop work, she is, from my view, happier than I have ever seen her.
 
Typical of Liza, instead of being paralyzed by all those storage spaces, and being in a mindset of change and making room for new things, she said, “Honey, it’s time for spring cleaning, and I mean purge with a capitol P.” It did not come without much thought and soul searching. The conclusion was that she could sit on these things and they would never see the light of day again, or could send them out in the world and share them now and see them live again with others who would appreciate having them. Another important factor for her is that much of the proceeds will eventually go to The Great American Songbook Foundation, an organization I started seven years ago with her help, and thus the letting go of objects also serves a cause that is important to her.
 
Mind you, she has saved many things that are intimate and important to her and her family, and those will be kept private. There were also so many photos and multiple images that only the most resonant were retained, with the rest to go out in the world. What are some of the things has she kept? The Christening Bible from her Godmother Kay Thompson, the stereo color slides taken of her by her father in costumes he reproduced from his films, her mother’s music library, clothing and other trappings that have personal importance. And of course, her father’s Oscar, an oversized Avedon photo of her mother, certain movie posters like The Clock which was the film her parents made together and caused them to fall in love. 

Liza is modest and deeply sensitive. She knows her place in show business history, mainly by looking at the continuum of it, but lives for the moment. It is through the eyes of others that she might most appreciate herself, though if I find and watch something of hers that I adore, she can look at it clear-eyed and without false modesty and say, “that was good.” She is proud of her craft and the work she put into perfecting her art. 

Halston. No one matters more to her than Halston. Sharing his work is her way of reminding people of his importance to her life and the world of fashion, style and deep friendship. The vibrations in the clothes and drawings she is sharing are damned powerful! She says that with Fred Ebb and Kay Thompson, Halston created her. 

I called her and Liza just said the following that I transcribed:

“My life is a gift of flowing friendships and relationships all collected in these objects. It is with many emotions I share them, knowing that they will create new bridges for others as they have for me. I woke up one day and thought, ‘Honey, you ain’t gonna wait till you’ve bought the farm and leave your life on someone else’s doorstep.’ So, it was time to go there, and I have, and it feels good.” 

Michael Feinstein
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Vincente Minnelli (4) vintage childhood photographs.1 - Vincente Minnelli (4) vintage childhood photographs.
Profiles in History
1. Vincente Minnelli (4) vintage childhood photographs. (ca. 1910) Vintage original black and white collection of (4) photographs, including (3
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Estimates : 200.00 - 300.00
Sold to f***r for (250.00 + 70.00) x 1 = 320.00
 
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Vincente Minnelli early childhood photograph of he and his brother.2 - Vincente Minnelli early childhood photograph of he and his brother.
Profiles in History
2. Vincente Minnelli early childhood photograph of he and his brother. (ca. 1900s) Vintage original gelatin silver portrait photograph measurin
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Estimates : 100.00 - 200.00
Sold to f***r for (100.00 + 28.00) x 1 = 128.00
 
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Vincente Minnelli framed childhood portrait real photo postcard.3 - Vincente Minnelli framed childhood portrait real photo postcard.
Profiles in History
3. Vincente Minnelli framed childhood portrait real photo postcard. (ca. 1900s) Vintage original gelatin silver 3.25 x 5.25 in. double-weight r
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Estimates : 200.00 - 300.00
Sold to f***r for (200.00 + 56.00) x 1 = 256.00
 
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Alfio Balzani; or extracts from the Diary of a Proscribed Sicilian.4 - Alfio Balzani; or extracts from the Diary of a Proscribed Sicilian.
Profiles in History
4. Alfio Balzani; or extracts from the Diary of a Proscribed Sicilian book from the collection of Vincente Minnelli's father. (1862) Vin
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Estimates : 200.00 - 300.00
Sold to f***r for (200.00 + 56.00) x 1 = 256.00
 
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The Only Girl handwritten script by Mina Gennell.5 - The Only Girl handwritten script by Mina Gennell.
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5. The Only Girl handwritten script by Mina Gennell. (1907) Vintage original handwritten 45+page script for a stage play, with (2) loose
Bidding Has Concluded
Estimates : 100.00 - 200.00
Sold to c******o for (100.00 + 28.00) x 1 = 128.00
 
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Vincente Minnelli (100+) personal and career photos.6 - Vincente Minnelli (100+) personal and career photos.
Profiles in History
6. Vincente Minnelli (100+) personal and career photos. (ca. 1900-1950s) Vintage and contemporary original large collection (100+) photographs
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Estimates : 200.00 - 300.00
Sold to f***r for (275.00 + 77.00) x 1 = 352.00
 
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'Little Old Lady in the Snow' framed sheet music.7 - 'Little Old Lady in the Snow' framed sheet music.
Profiles in History
7. "Little Old Lady in the Snow" framed sheet music. (1936) Vintage original sheet music folio for Hoagy Carmichael and Stanley Adams'...
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Start Price : 200.00 | Estimates : 200.00 - 300.00
 
 
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Vincente Minnelli sheet music for his father's composition, 'The White Tops'.8 - Vincente Minnelli sheet music for his father's composition, 'The White Tops'.
Profiles in History
8. Vincente Minnelli sheet music for his father's composition, "The White Tops". (1910) Vintage original sheet music folio for "T...
Bidding Has Concluded
Estimates : 200.00 - 300.00
Sold to f***r for (100.00 + 28.00) x 1 = 128.00
 
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Vincente Minnelli (10) songbooks from the library of his father, V.C. Minnelli.9 - Vincente Minnelli (10) songbooks from the library of his father, V.C. Minnelli.
Profiles in History
9. Vincente Minnelli (10) songbooks from the library of his father, V.C. Minnelli. (ca. 1900s) Collection of (10) vintage original songbooks an
Bidding Has Concluded
Estimates : 100.00 - 200.00
Sold to f***r for (100.00 + 28.00) x 1 = 128.00
 
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Vincente Minnelli poster for the musical clown troupe Les Fratellini.10 - Vincente Minnelli poster for the musical clown troupe Les Fratellini.
Profiles in History
10. Vincente Minnelli poster for the musical clown troupe Les Fratellini. (ca.1947) Vintage original show window poster measuring approximately
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Start Price : 100.00 | Estimates : 100.00 - 200.00
 
 
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Circus and clown related books and artwork from the collections of Vincente and Liza Minnelli.11 - Circus and clown related books and artwork from the collections of Vincente and Liza Minnelli.
Profiles in History
11. Circus and clown related books and artwork from the collections of Vincente and Liza Minnelli. (ca. 1940s - 1974) Collection of vintage ori
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Start Price : 200.00 | Estimates : 200.00 - 300.00
 
 
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Vincente Minnelli (3) photo prints of his store window designs for Marshall Field's.12 - Vincente Minnelli (3) photo prints of his store window designs for Marshall Field's.
Profiles in History
12. Vincente Minnelli (3) photo prints of his store window designs for Marshall Field's. (ca. 1920s) Collection of (3) black-and-white 8 x 10 i
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Estimates : 200.00 - 300.00
Sold to f***r for (425.00 + 119.00) x 1 = 544.00
 
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Vincenete Minnelli original Art Deco stage design sketch.13 - Vincenete Minnelli original Art Deco stage design sketch.
Profiles in History
13. Vincenete Minnelli original Art Deco stage design sketch. (ca. 1930s) Accomplished in graphite and gouache on artists' board with 10.25 x 2
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Estimates : 1,000.00 - 2,000.00
Sold to f***r for (1,100.00 + 308.00) x 1 = 1,408.00
 
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Vincente Minnelli (11) early career portrait photographs.14 - Vincente Minnelli (11) early career portrait photographs.
Profiles in History
14. Vincente Minnelli (11) early career portrait photographs. (ca. early 1900s - 1930s) Vintage original (8) gelatin silver double-weight matte
Bidding Has Concluded
Estimates : 200.00 - 300.00
Sold to f***r for (200.00 + 56.00) x 1 = 256.00
 
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Vincente Minnelli (2) career scrapbooks.15 - Vincente Minnelli (2) career scrapbooks.
Profiles in History
15. Vincente Minnelli (2) career scrapbooks. (ca. 1950s-1980s) Collection of (2) oversize scrapbooks ranging in size from 12 x 15.5 in. to 15.2
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Estimates : 100.00 - 200.00
Sold to f***r for (325.00 + 91.00) x 1 = 416.00
 
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Vincente Minnelli (30+) historical and art research materials.16 - Vincente Minnelli (30+) historical and art research materials.
Profiles in History
16. Vincente Minnelli (30+) historical and art research materials. (ca.1930s-1970s) Vintage original collection of (30+) documents, including (
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Start Price : 200.00 | Estimates : 200.00 - 300.00
 
 
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Vincente Minnelli photograph constructing stage design maquette by Alfred Eisenstaedt.17 - Vincente Minnelli photograph constructing stage design maquette by Alfred Eisenstaedt.
Profiles in History
17. Vincente Minnelli photograph constructing stage design maquette by Alfred Eisenstaedt. (ca. 1930s) Vintage original gelatin silver 7.75 x 1
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Estimates : 200.00 - 300.00
Sold to f***r for (300.00 + 84.00) x 1 = 384.00
 
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Vincente Minnelli early portrait photograph by Alfred Eisenstaedt.18 - Vincente Minnelli early portrait photograph by Alfred Eisenstaedt.
Profiles in History
18. Vincente Minnelli early portrait photograph by Alfred Eisenstaedt. (ca. 1930s) Vintage original gelatin silver single-weight photograph mea
Bidding Has Concluded
Estimates : 200.00 - 300.00
Sold to f***r for (275.00 + 77.00) x 1 = 352.00
 
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Vincente Minnelli (5) early oversize portrait photographs by Aermates.19 - Vincente Minnelli (5) early oversize portrait photographs by Aermates.
Profiles in History
19. Vincente Minnelli (5) early oversize portrait photographs by Aermates. (ca. early 1930s) Vintage original (5) gelatin silver double-weight
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Estimates : 200.00 - 300.00
Sold to f***r for (1,500.00 + 420.00) x 1 = 1,920.00
 
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Vincente Minnelli custom oversize photograph by Aermates.20 - Vincente Minnelli custom oversize photograph by Aermates.
Profiles in History
20. Vincente Minnelli custom oversize photograph by Aermates. (ca. 1930s) Vintage original gelatin silver 10.1 x 12.75 in. double-weight matte
Bidding Has Concluded
Estimates : 200.00 - 300.00
Sold to F**o for (1,000.00 + 280.00) x 1 = 1,280.00
 
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