The Collection of Alex & Elisabeth Lewyt

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The Collection of Alex & Elisabeth Lewyt exemplifies the exceptional taste of two of America’s most important patrons of early modern art.  This extraordinary couple, whose lives are a testament to ingenuity, creativity, compassion and hard work, formed one of the most celebrated collections of late 19th and early 20th century European art.
 
Alexander Lewyt was a visionary, inventor and entrepreneur from a young age, and throughout his life he invented the clip-on bow-tie as well as his eponymous vacuum cleaner, a compact machine with no dust bag that was designed to operate without distorting television and radio reception. Inheriting the family business at age 18, Alex Lewyt continually expanded and diversified, adding clients including International Business Machines Inc., best known as IBM.  By 1952 Lewyt was living part-time in France, where he began collecting art.  His marriage to Elisabeth, who shared his passion for art, took place on December 31, 1953.
 
Born in Chartres, France nearly a century ago, Elisabeth Lewyt was known by some as ‘Saint Babette’ for her kindness and devotion to animals.  Mr. and Mrs. Lewyt collected paintings by Cézanne, Degas, Bonnard, Renoir, and most famously, The Man With the Axe by Paul Gauguin. Many of the paintings were later donated to the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York.
 
Known to her friends as Babette, Mrs. Lewyt championed organizations that followed a no-kill policy for strays and abandoned pets. She was instrumental in saving countless animals from euthanasia, both through her philanthropy and her hands-on work.  
 
Sotheby’s is honored to be offering the works from the Collection of Alex & Elisabeth Lewyt in a series of sales throughout 2013.  
 


Related sales:
Impressionist and Modern Art Evening Sale
Sotheby's New York, May 7, 2013
 
Impressionist and Modern Art Day Sale
Sotheby's New York, May 8, 2013
 
19th Century European Art
Sotheby's New York, May 9, 2013
 
Books & Manuscripts
Sotheby's New York, June 4, 2013
 
Contemporary Art Evening Sale
Sotheby's Paris, June 5, 2013
 
Contemporary Art Day Sale
Sotheby's Paris, June 6, 2013
 
Impressionist and Modern Art
Sotheby's Paris, June 6, 2013
 
Contemporary Art
Sotheby's New York, June 7, 2013
 
Chinese Works of Art
Sotheby's New York, September 11, 2013
 
Impressionist and Modern Art
Sotheby's New York, October 9, 2013
 
Important European Decorative Arts
Sotheby's New York, October 23, 2013