Palm Springs Art Museum to auction donated artwork for fundraiser

By Brian Blueskye | Desert Sun

The Palm Springs Art Museum has announced its Art Auction ’21, a biennial signature fundraising event, will take place in April and feature 40 donated contemporary artworks.

Artists include painters and sculptors Jeffrey Gibson and Lita Albuquerque, as well as local light-and-space artist Phillip K. Smith III and designer Jim Isermann.

Attendees can also expect work from Hemet-based sculptor and conceptual artist Gerald Clarke, ceramicist Dan Anderson, and fabric sculptor and performance artist Nick Cave. 

The complete selection of works will be announced in March. The online auction will be hosted by, starting at 7 a.m., April 9 through 8 a.m., April 16. 

The art pieces are valued at anywhere from $5,000 to $100,000. 

Palm Springs Art Museum Executive Director and CEO Louis Grachos said funds raised through sponsorship and purchase of these donated artworks will support the museum, the Architecture and Design Center on South Palm Canyon Drive and Frey House IIa house designed by architect Albert Frey that is perched on a mountain above the museum. 

“The proceeds will also ensure that Palm Springs Art Museum remains the city’s leading cultural institution and a world-class destination long after the pandemic subsides,” Grachos said in a prepared statement. 

Grachos told The Desert Sun in January that he hoped the museum would be able to reopen in March, one year after it closed due to the COVID-19 pandemic. 

The Palm Springs Art Museum sold Helen Frankenthaler’s 1979 canvas “Carousel” last October through a Sotheby’s auction for $3.9 million, utilizing deaccession like many other institutions to stay afloat amid financial difficulties brought on by the pandemic. 

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