Works from the Collection of Phyllis & Jerome Lyle Rappaport

Works from the Collection of Phyllis & Jerome Lyle Rappaport

S otheby’s is honoured to present a selection of outstanding works from The Collection of Phyllis & Jerome Lyle Rappaport as a highlight of the Summer Season in London. The collection comprises the most celebrated artists and the greatest artistic movements of the Twentieth and Twenty-First centuries, including the pioneering abstraction of Helen Frankenthaler, Sean Scully, Albert Oehlen and Gerhard Richter, as well as the groundbreaking figuration of Georg Baselitz and Pierre Alechinsky.

Phyllis & Jerome Lyle Rappaport.

This pivotal selection of works from the Rappaport Collection illuminates the profound foresight with which Phyllis and Jerry Rappaport built their collection. With a keen and discerning eye for quality, Phyllis and Jerry amassed a collection that bravely invested into intellectual artists before their ascent into the mainstream art market. Valued relationships with preeminent artists and dealers across America and Europe through the 1970s through to the present allowed Phyllis and Jerry to assemble a collection that exemplifies their dedication to and passion for contemporary art.

"Phyllis and Jerry Rappaport are the embodiment of philanthropy that sets the highest standards for giving. As a beneficiary of their benevolence and sincerity, I hold immense respect, gratitude, and devotion for them."
Maria Magdalena Campos-Pons, Rappaport Art Prize Recipient, 2012

Jerry and Phyllis shared a deep commitment to philanthropy, a passion that continues to thrive within Phyllis today. Their joint efforts in building the collection were driven by their love for art and fueled by their active engagement in social and public policy matters in Boston. After a successful career in real estate development during the 1980s, Jerry endowed a fellowship at the Rappaport Institute for Greater Boston housed within Harvard's Kennedy School of Government.

Through their initiatives such as the Rappaport Institute at Harvard and the Rappaport Center for Law and Public Policy at Boston College Law School, Phyllis and Jerry have generously supported over 550 public policy and law and public policy fellows. By fostering the development of these influential leaders and funding talent, the Rappaports have played a vital role in shaping the future of public policy in their community. In 2004, Phyllis and Jerry co-founded the Cure Alzheimer’s Fund, which has granted more than $170 million to scientific research, advancing targets for therapies for this widespread disease and has dramatically improved the world’s understanding of the disease.

In 1997, Phyllis and Jerry founded the Rappaport Foundation, dedicated to promoting emerging leaders in public policy, science, and the arts. Three years later, they established the Rappaport Prize, recognizing contemporary artists with strong ties to New England. Recipients of the prize have included artistic luminaries such as Barkley Hendricks (2017), Titus Kaphar (2018), Ursula von Rydingsvard (2008), and Orly Genger (2011).

Reflecting on the impact of winning the Rappaport Art Prize in 2019, Daniela Rivera stated: "The Prize allowed me to transition from a solitary studio practice to engaging with communities and pursuing inclusivity through shared authorship. I've been able to address issues of displacement and belonging through my artwork, thanks to the support of organizations like the Rappaport Foundation. Moving forward, my focus remains on facilitating spaces of shared authorship and conversation, promoting inclusivity and social justice."

As the Rappaports approach the 25th anniversary of the Rappaport Art Prize, a remarkable recognition and support system for contemporary art in New England, it stands as one of the most generous and influential contemporary art awards of its kind. The prize serves as an enduring source of encouragement for artists in the region, ensuring the continuous growth and support of the vibrant artistic community.

As esteemed philanthropists, collectors and political reformers, the Rappaports have made a lasting impact through their dedication and generosity. Lawrence Bacow, President of Harvard University has described their unfailing commitment to the arts, and to their community: “[They] worked tirelessly to improve the world by better connecting ideas and people… Through [their] philanthropy and dedication to public service and public policy, they set an example for all who want to make lasting change in their communities.”

Helen Frankenthaler’s luminous Passage, executed in 1971, and Albert Oehlen’s electrifying Untitled from 1993-94 are two top highlights from the collection to be offered in the Modern & Contemporary Evening Auction, alongside Sean Scully’s Barcelona Red Black Pink, a seminal example from the artist’s instantly recognisable Wall of Light series. Highlights from the Modern & Contemporary Day Auction on 28 June include two portraits by Georg Baselitz and Pierre Alechinsky as well as abstract works by Anselm Kiefer, Enzo Cucchi, Gerhard Richter, and Antoni Tàpies. An excellent painting by Gillian Ayres will also be included in the Modern British Art sale on 28 June. This group shows the great breadth of Phyllis and Jerry’s collection, and their deeply personal story of collecting.

Sotheby’s is thrilled to launch the multi-faceted sale of this Collection in London where we are able to feature these works by European and American masters in a single sale series, with additional works to be featured this fall in our New York sales, including exciting paintings by Max Beckmann, Milton Avery, Adolph Gottlieb and Hans Hofmann.

Join us as we celebrate the extraordinary vision and generosity of Phyllis and Jerome Lyle Rappaport, whose collection is a testament to their unwavering passion for contemporary art and their commitment to making a lasting impact.

Contemporary Art

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