John Lomasney movie art to benefit Lifebeat at Heritage Auctions

A collection of 800 hand-painted movie posters from John Lomasney will sell at Heritage Auctions to raise money for Lifebeat, a charity that aims to fight HIV and AIDS through music.

John Lomasney movie poster
The reclusive John Lomasney's movie posters span over 50 years, with each of them unique and hand-painted

The auction opened for bids on July 10 and will close on August 4.

The collection was originally acquired by tennis legend John McEnroe and displayed in his SoHo, New York gallery. However, he has since donated the artworks to the charity.

Each of the posters is unique, hand-painted for display in the Royal Hawaiian Theatre in Honolulu, with many incorporating original studio film stills. Each large-scale piece measures 44 by 28 inches and is painted in gouache.

Currently leading bids in Lomasney's effort for the James Bond film On Her Majesty's Secret Service (1969), which is selling at $430.

Another example for 1968's The Lion in Winter, starring Peter O'Toole and Katharine Hepburn, is auctioning for $410.

Sharing this price is the poster for Alfred Hitchcock's Rebecca (1940), starring Laurence Olivier and Joan Fontaine.

Little is known about John Lomasney, except that he briefly worked as a set painter for both Warner Brothers and Paramount. He was employed as a staff artist by the Royal Hawaiian Theater in 1936, but discarded the studio one-sheets in favour of his own original posters.

He rarely completed more than four posters for a film and each is unique, inspired by film stills from the production.

On July 27-28, Heritage Auctions will hold its Movie Posters Signature Auction in Dallas, highlighted by a unique and extremely sought-after Frankenstein insert.

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