Just before that Christmas in 1991, a box marked ‘A. Wyeth’ arrived at actor Charlton Heston’s door. Inside was a work, Study for ‘Flood Plain’ that the American realist had sent to his friend as a present. Heston sent an effusive thank-you letter to Wyeth that expresses his delight: “I haven’t been so excited about a Christmas gift since I was ten years old,” he wrote. A longtime admirer of the Wyeth family and of Andrew’s work in particular, Heston had begun a correspondence with the artist in the 1980s that quickly grew into a friendship.
The first picture by Andrew Wyeth that Heston acquired, a mesmerizing watercolour titled Ice Pool, was purchased as an anniversary gift for his wife, Lydia. Later, in 1988, he acquired Wyeth’s final painted version of Flood Plain.
All three of these cherished works from the collection of Charlton Heston, painted by a man he so admired and was lucky enough to call a friend, will be offered at Sotheby’s American Art auction in New York on 18 November.
LEAD IMAGE: ANDREW WYETH'S FLOOD PLAIN (DETAIL), 1986. ESTIMATE $2,000,000–3,000,000.