Skip to Content

Norman Lear bought a Hockney painting for $64,000. Now it could sell for up to $35 million

By Jack Guy, CNN

(CNN) — A David Hockney painting bought by famed US screenwriter and producer Norman Lear for $64,000 is expected to fetch up to $35 million at auction.

“A Lawn Being Sprinkled” is going under the hammer as part of a sale of the collection of Norman Lear and Lyn Davis Lear that is estimated to bring in more than $50 million, according to a statement from auction house Christie’s.

Lear paid what was a record-breaking price for a Hockney work when he acquired the painting in 1978, according to the auction house, but nowadays the artist’s most valuable pieces sell for tens of millions rather than tens of thousands.

The painting, created in 1967, is acrylic on canvas and features a number of sprinklers spraying a green lawn, with a gray building and a fence in the background.

It is the top lot in a collection which also features Ed Ruscha’s painting “Truth,” as well as works by Willem de Kooning, Robert Rauschenberg and Ellsworth Kelly.

Lear was “the most important television producer in history,” Christie’s said, best known for shows such as “All in the Family,” “The Jeffersons” and “Good Times.” He died at his home in Los Angeles in December at the age of 101.

“The art that Norman and Lyn collected together is, like his era-defining shows, marked as much by the exploration of ideas as by an exquisite sense of craft,” said Max Carter, Christie’s vice chairman of 20th and 21st century art, in the statement.

Hockney, 86, is one of the world’s most popular living artists.

Born in Bradford, northern England, Hockney traveled to California in 1964 and subsequently spent many years there, painting some of his best known works.

In 2018, Hockney’s 1972 piece “Portrait of an Artist (Pool with Two Figures)” sold for $90.3 million, setting a then record for the highest price ever paid at auction for a work by a living artist.

™ & © 2024 Cable News Network, Inc., a Warner Bros. Discovery Company. All rights reserved.

Correction: This story has been updated to correct the amount the painting was sold for in 1978.

Article Topic Follows: CNN - Style

Jump to comments ↓

CNN Newsource


KION 46 is committed to providing a forum for civil and constructive conversation.

Please keep your comments respectful and relevant. You can review our Community Guidelines by clicking here

If you would like to share a story idea, please submit it here.

Skip to content