Anthony Quinn artworks for Bonhams auction

Eight works from the collection of Anthony Quinn, the late American actor, feature in the next Bonhams sale of South African art on March 20th in New Bond Street, London. Including paintings and sculptures by Cecil Skotnes, Lucky Sibiya, Dumile Feni-Mhlaba and Cyprian Shilakoe, the selection ranges in price from £2,500 to £30,000.

Anthony QuinnAnthony Quinn (1915-2001) was known to the world for his performances in films such as La Strada, Zorba the Greek, Lawrence of Arabia and Viva Zapata! – a stellar career in which he won two Oscars. What is less well known is that he was a keen artist and collector. As a child, he won an award for a plaster bust of Abraham Lincoln, and he often sketched the movie stars he saw when his father, an assistant cameraman, took him to the studio. On one occasion, he was paid $25 by Douglas Fairbanks for a drawing of the star.

Later, he studied art and architecture under Frank Lloyd Wright at Taliesin. While an offer of a substantial weekly salary from a film studio drew Quinn away from this line of work (with the blessing of Wright, who commented, “Take it. You’ll never make that much with me”), the actor continued to explore his affinity for art.

In 1976 Quinn traveled to South Africa to film Target of an Assassin, directed by Peter Collinson and released in South Africa as Tigers Don’t Cry in 1977. During his time in Johannesburg, he was invited to a dinner party at the home of African art dealer Vittorino Meneghelli. Quinn was struck by the beauty of the artworks on display in the house and bought quite a few. Quinn also acquired works directly from several artists, as well as from Meneghelli’s Totem Gallery, Gallery 21, the Goodman Gallery and the Lidchi Gallery in Johannesburg, followed by the Grosvenor Gallery in London.

For a full listing of upcoming sales, plus details of Bonhams specialist departments go to www.bonhams.com.

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