It is a great privilege to present an art collection such as the one so thoughtfully curated by the National Australia Bank’s Art Committee in the 1970s. These artworks, covering the traditional periods through to the modern and contemporary, as well as nine extraordinary tapestries, had largely been hidden from the public for almost fifty years. The remarkable nature of the collection was not lost on the bidders joining in online (of which there were more than 800), over the telephone, or present in the overflowing auction room. Leonard Joel is thrilled to announce a white glove result for “Important Works from the NAB Art Collection” on 23 February 2022, with 100% sold by lot, 225% sold by value, 29 new artist records set, and $1,952,900 raised for the philanthropic work of the NAB Foundation.
Notable results included the exciting sale of a large scale tapestry by Mirka Mora, which sailed past the estimated range and sold for $200,000 IBP to a delighted bidder on the telephone. Demand for Mora’s artwork has exploded since Leonard Joel held the auction of her studio in 2019; her top five prices have all been achieved since that pivotal auction, with this one now taking the lead.
Other highlights included a sculpture by Greg Johns that was a maquette for the even larger version at McClelland Sculpture Park, a striking work by influential Australian artist Judy Cassab, and three works by Jeffrey Makin that are now the top results for the artist.
John Albrecht, Chairman & Head of Important Collections, says: “Collaborating with the National Australia Bank was an honour, and managing the dispersal of such a varied collection confirmed for us our twin passions within our Fine Art department; dealing with both the old, and the new. Our Head of Art, Olivia Fuller, set 29 new artist records at this auction, many of those in the Post War and Contemporary space, reflecting our growing focus in this area. While all auction records are a cause for celebration, the records set for living artists are particularly heartening as they play a vital part in developing our profile in the secondary market.”
The series of works presented within this collection celebrated the diversity and depth of modern Australian art. The auction results were a testament to the expert curation of the collection, and the forward-thinking vision of their art committee at the time.