A collection of Constantin Brancusi’s love letters to Florence Meyer, spanning roughly two decades, will be put up for auction by Artmark on March 4 at the Bucharest Cesianu-Racovita Palace.
Titled ”A Love Story” – the auction features 15 items from the correspondence of Brancusi – each signed with his name or the alias Morice, as well as other important documents from a writer’s collection; the starting price for each letter is 1,000 euros.
According to Artmark, experts consider that as the content of the letters describes the artist’s personal life and do not document his creation process, they are not classifiable as national cultural heritage; museum institutions are encouraged to participate in their purchase.
The letters were expertly authenticated by Dr. Radu Varia, a member of several academies, including the Royal Scottish Academy, the European Academy of Sciences, Arts and Letters in Paris, and the Academy of Sciences and Arts in Salzburg.
Florence Meyer was a modern American dancer, also known for her passion for photography, who produced some famous photographic portraits of actors and artists of her time. A close friend and protégé of visual artist Man Ray, she was married to actor Oskar Homolka.
The auction also includes a selection of old maps of Dacia, Transylvania, Romania and the Romanian space, old or miniature manuscripts, old or bibliophile books, some bearing the signature of the authors, such as Tudor Arghezi, Nichita Stanescu, Vasile Labis, Lucian Blaga, Liviu Rebreanu or Mircea Eliade.
The session also features books classified in the national cultural heritage, such as “Pompeii’s Antiquities” from 1804, and “The Herculaneum Theater” from 1783, containing 43 engravings by famous Italian engraver Francesco Piranesi; these two books were part of the former collection of Transylvanian diplomat Vasile Stoica – which was partially put on display in recent years at the Village Museum in Bucharest, at the Brukenthal National Museum in Sibiu and at the Museum of the Fagaras Land – and which was returned in 2009 by Romania’s National Art Museum to the collector’s family.
The lots put up for sale include “The Works of Philo the Jew” written in 1588 by Pierre Bellief, at the starting price of 600 euros, Ovid’s “Heroides” in an edition from 1552, from Mihai Beniuc’s collection, for 500 euros, or the 1530 Bartolomeo Platina post-incunable on culinary art, for 1,200 euros. All these works have been notified to the Ministry of Culture for classification in the national cultural heritage.