Steve Rubell’s Studio 54 Auction: everything must blow!
Quick! What do a sterling-silver Bulgari postcard, an invitation to the premiere of the 1978 film The Wiz, an Andy Warhol Polaroid of Grace Jones, and a diploma from Syracuse University have in common? Well, they’re all going on the block tomorrow in West Palm Beach, when Palm Beach Modern Auctions sells a collection of rare memorabilia from the estate of legendary Studio 54 founder Steve Rubell. Offered by a onetime boyfriend of the entrepreneur who has kept the archives since Rubell’s death in 1989, this treasure trove of photographs, albums, art objects and invitations offers a glimpse into the heady, hedonistic days of the late 1970s and early 1980s, when disco ruled and Studio was the ultimate place to be seen and photographed. And photographed they were: Here is Warhol, Calvin Klein and Brooke Shields at the height of the model’s “nothing comes between me and my Calvins” moment; there is tennis heartthrob Björn Borg having a tête-à-tête with Bianca Jagger; over there is Truman Capote boogieing with Marion Javits at Elizabeth Taylor’s birthday party. And through it all, amidst the Park Avenue swans and the shirtless bartenders, is Rubell himself, flashing his impish, maniacal smile and escorting the boldface names through the flashbulbs and flash mobs. For a certain kind of collector, these photos are pure gold, as are the drink tickets, posters (Peter Beard’s “Save the Elephant Benefit”), books (Warhol’s signed Exposures) and paintings, highlighted by Michael Vollbracht’s birthday portrait of Rubell, surrounded by all his one-named luminaries. And really, where else can you get both a personalized invitation from Clive Davis to the premiere of Close Encounters of the Third Kind and an authentic 54 disco album with tracks from Chic and the Village People in one place? If you can’t make it to South Florida at noon tomorrow, telephone and Internet bids are also accepted. Check out palmbeachmodernauctions.com for more information.
TAGS: Andy Warhol, Bianca Jagger, Bjorn Borg, Brooke Shields, Calvin Klein, Chic, Clive Davis, Elizabeth Taylor, Grace Jones, Marion Javits, Michael Vollbracht, Peter Beard, Steve Rubell, Truman Capote, Village People