Rare art sells estimated at 10% 'original value' for Jewish centre at Clark's Fine Art

Rare modern and contemporary artworks from three significant collections - including two featured collections from the estates of Hollywood luminaries - are up for sale in Clark's Fine Art's first auction of 2012 on January 21.

The third collection comprises artworks formerly donated to the Silverlake Independent Jewish Community Center. The Los Angeles-based nonprofit organisation will benefit from its portion of the auction proceeds. The sale takes place in Sherman Oaks, California, featuring 270 lots.

One of the Hollywood moguls and collectors is Harold Berkowitz, a prominent entertainment lawyer. Berkowitz's A-list clients included Robert Mitchum, Shelley Winters, Jack Lemmon and - believe it or not - the canine superstar Rin Tin Tin.

Berkowitz also had a hand in deals behind the 20th century's best-loved movies and television programmes. These include the Pink Panther movie series starring Peter Sellers, 1975 horror-thriller Jaws and TV classics Lassie and Flipper.

"Mr Berkowitz, who passed away in 2010, lived in Malibu and collected contemporary and modern art that suited the décor of his home," said Clark Cierlak, owner of Clark's Fine Art.

"His refined taste is reflected in the artworks he personally chose for his collection."


Clark’s Fine Art’s first auction of 2012 on January
Rare art from three significant collections will sell at Clark's Fine Art

Rivalling Mr Berkowitz's artworks is the collection of Hollywood director Jerrold "Jerry" Bernstein (1930-1979). Bernstein's numerous TV credits include The Flying Nun, Gidget, Nanny and the Professor, I Dream of Jeannie, and scores of other popular shows.

"Like Mr. Berkowitz, Jerry Bernstein favoured contemporary and modern art. He also liked and, to a lesser extent, collected African art. His art collection has remained in the family for the past 32 years. We are honoured to be presenting it at auction," said Cierlak.

Even more remarkable in Clark's Fine Art's sale, however, are a number of paintings from the Silverlake centre. Many of these paintings have previous appraisal values of $30,000-40,000 yet, because they were gifted to the centre for free, will auction with estimates of $4,000-5,000 each.

It's an incredible offer; a one-off chance for eager collectors to acquire great and rare artworks for just 10% their previous valuations. Once these artworks are back in private hands, there could be no reason by the pieces' values won't appreciate once again.

Big artworks for sale include a 1988 Monique Frydman (American, b. 1943-) pigment, colour pastel and oil painting on canvas. Titled Jaune Majeur III, the work measuring 86 x 76 inches is artist-signed and dated on its verso.

The work's provenance is traceable to Galerie Baudoin Lebon in Paris. The Monique Frydman will appear with a $12,000-$18,000 pre-sale estimate.

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