Fans of the late writer Joan Didion will soon have the chance to purchase some of her prized possessions.
Stair Galleries, an auction house in Hudson, New York, will auction furniture and artifacts belonging to the writer, whose incisive work has impacted readers since the 1960s. Hundreds of lots are up for grabs through the estate sale, including works of art, books, and other items that occupied Didion’s apartment at the end of his life.
Among the highlights of the sale are pieces from the art collection of Didion and her late husband John Gregory Dunne. As one of the leading chroniclers of American life during the second half of the 20th century, Didion knew and knew some of the most important artists of the time, which is clear from what is on offer. These include a lithograph from Richard Diebenkorn’s Twelve (should sell for between $50,000 and $70,000), Jennifer Bartlett’s tree in four parts ($15,000 to $20,000) and a numbered engraving by Edward Ruscha Library ($3,000 to $4,000). There are also pieces that feature Didion herself, including a painting of Les Johnson (pictured top, $3,000-$5,000) and a famous photograph of the writer next to his Chevrolet Corvette taken by Julian water for Time magazine in 1968 ($1,500 to $3,000).
While the art may be the main draw for some, there are plenty that will particularly appeal to fans of Didion’s writing, which included dozens of essays, books, and screenplays. His typewriter ($800 to $1,200), several bundles of his favorite books ($800 to $1,200), and unused notebooks with his nameplate inside the cover ($100 to $200) will do all subject to an offer. Other items of interest are an oak partners desk ($8,000-$12,000), a pair of his signature sunglasses ($400-$800) and a five-piece tea and coffee set with an accompanying platter ($2,000 to $3,000), to name a few.
“Everything about the sale helps paint the picture of how she lived in her private space,” said auction house manager Lisa Thomas. New York Times Last week.
The auction will take place on Wednesday, November 16. Over two hundred lots will go on sale that day, which you can bid on through the auction house’s website. Proceeds from the sale of the estate will benefit Parkinson’s disease research and patient care at Columbia University, as well as the Sacramento Historical Society. If you live near Hudson, about 200 miles north of New York, you may even see some items in person. Selected items will be on display at Stair from Monday, October 31 through Tuesday, November 15.