Tonight Sotheby’s will begin auctioning off the estate of Mrs. Paul Mellon, known by most as Bunny Mellon. The woman responsible for redesigning the White House Rose Garden, a close friend of Jackie Kennedy, a woman of great taste, Bunny Mellon’s estate is sure to be magnificent.
The auction will take place in three stages over three different dates: “Masterworks” (her amazing art collection), “Jewels and Objects of Vertu”, and “Interiors”.
This week I’ll be showing you a sample of my favorite items from each of the three auctions.
First, a quick history lesson.
Rachel “Bunny” Mellon was an heiress to the “Listerine” fortune. Her second husband was Paul Mellon, a philanthropist and horse breeder. Bunny Mellon was asked by JFK to redesign the Rose Garden, which remains much the same today. She went on to design several gardens and landscapes, including the JFK Presidential Library and designer Givenchy’s private residence. Bunny Mellon also helped Jackie Kennedy with the White House restoration, advising on antiques and fine arts.
Together the Mellon’s were significant collectors of art, and they donated many pieces to the National Gallery of Art. Bunny Mellon is perhaps most famous, in terms of her art collection, for her many pieces by Mark Rothko.
Sotheby’s auction contains 43 lots of Mellon’s art collection. Below are a few of my favorites.