Sunday, March 29, 2015
A Window Into the Real Lauren Bacall
New York Times
March 27, 2015
She loved animals. And piecework quilts. And Louis Vuitton suitcases.
So exalted was Lauren Bacall’s affair and subsequent ménage with Humphrey Bogart, it threatened at times to overshadow her acting career, as well as her other passions: for politics, literature and, yes, material possessions. Mr. Bogart died on Jan. 14, 1957; Ms. Bacall on Aug. 12, 2014, and against the title of the movie on whose set they first fell in love, her credo during the intervening years seems to have been “To Have, and Have a Lot.”
“Literally every tabletop had things on it,” said Jon King, a vice president and the director of business development at the auction house Bonhams New York, describing the 4,000-square-foot apartment in the Dakota building on 72nd Street in Manhattan that Ms. Bacall bought for tens of thousands of dollars in 1961 and crammed with art and antiques including (and this is but a small sample) Henry Moore and Robert Graham sculptures, David Hockney photographs, Picasso pottery, Chinese bronze figures, Congolese head rests, Louis XV bureaus, Edwardian bamboo, Victorian needlework and Majolica china — notably two nut dishes presided over by nibbling squirrels.
“Her taste was really eclectic,” Mr. King said with a note of understatement, describing a panoply for her many visitors and friends, who included Anjelica Huston, Mr. Graham’s widow; Barbra Streisand; and Ted Kennedy, who gave “Betty,” as Ms. Bacall was called by almost all, a signed lithograph of a daffodil painting he did for his wife Victoria. “Every time they turned, something caught their eye.”