The Bonhams online sale is open from now until April 29.
As museums, galleries and auction houses around the world lay off staff and contemplate several more months of closure and income loss, some are also coming up with innovative ways to help their communities.
Hundreds of workers at Sotheby’s and Christie’s have been furloughed, made redundant or had their pay cut, according to artnet News, as have staff at many major US museums, including the Whitney Museum, the Museum of Modern Art (MoMA), the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art and the Los Angeles Museum of Contemporary Art. A trade association representing French art galleries said that one-third of its members could be forced to shut by the end of the year.
While dealing with this unprecedented hardship, many organizations are also fundraising for others. In London, Bonhams, the auction house, has launched a non-profit digital auction to raise money for medical workers. Artists including Antony Gormley, Anish Kapoor and Julian Opie have donated works to the auction, which is running until April 29. All works can be seen on the Bonhams website.
Julian Ople, Waitress, from "Walking in London" - Bonhams
The auction will include multimedia works from eight artists, including two etchings by Kapoor, a work in acrylic by Opie and a print by the Connor Brothers. The Connor Brothers’ contribution uses one of the duo’s signature vintage romantic fiction images, this time of a nurse, with the caption “There are no extraordinary people only ordinary people who do extraordinary things.”
Eduardo Paolozzi’s estate has contributed a screenprint from 1996, while the ceramicist Grayson Perry has offered a visit to his studio (presumably post-lockdown). One hundred percent of proceeds will go to the National Health Service Charities Together Urgent Appeal, which supports NHS staff and volunteers caring for Covid-19 patients.
The Connor Brothers, "Extraordinary People" - Bonhams