A Vision: The Collection of Michelle Smith

, ,
Open: By Appointment

1334 York Avenue, NY 10021, New York, USA
Open: By Appointment


A Vision: The Collection of Michelle Smith

New York

A Vision: The Collection of Michelle Smith
Auction: Thu 22 Apr 2021
Exhibition: - Wed 21 Apr 2021
By Appointment


View Catalogue

Sotheby’s is honored to present A Vision: Property from the Collection of Michelle Smith on 22 April 2021 in New York. The extraordinary collection of the late philanthropist features numerous masterpieces of the 20th and 21st Century spanning Design, Fine Art, and Jewelry. Guided by her passion and discerning eye, Michelle Smith amassed a collection that is as elegant, sophisticated, and eclectic as the collector herself with the same commitment to excellence that resonated across every area of her life.  


Led by outstanding masterpieces by some of the most renowned artists of the past century, the collection brings together works across a number of stylistic periods and regions, from European and American Art Nouveau and Art Deco to Mid-century and Contemporary. Legendary artists and designers represented include François-Xavier and Claude Lalanne, Alberto and Diego Giacometti, Jean-Michel Frank, Louis Majorelle, Pierre Chareau, Eugène Printz, Jean Besnard, Lucie Rie and Tiffany Studios, among others. The result is a spectacular and diverse dialogue in materials, genres and artistic practices assembled by a true connoisseur, whose unique personal style is reflected in each individual work. In that spirit, the collection also showcases a robust ensemble of fine art anchored by contemporary works by Antony Gormley, Edmund de Waal, Alexander Calder and Olga de Amaral.

Michelle Smith’s vision is epitomized in her jewelry collection, telling the story of a woman who, when she decided she liked a certain style or maker, explored and collected in depth. Assembled over the course of decades, the collection features impressive jewels from some of the world’s most lauded and established firms, including Van Cleef & Arpels, Cartier, Bulgari, Suzanne Belperron, and René Boivin, as well as contemporary masters such as Hemmerle and Graff. She collected with purpose and cohesion, zeroing in on iconic designs such as Bulgari “Monete”, Van Cleef & Arpels “Snowflakes” and “Hexagone”, and Boivin “Fishscale.” Her jewelry spoke to her style and grace and serves as a natural extension of the highly curated and refined aesthetic she applied to her collections of Fine Art and Design.


Michelle Smith was a trailblazing businesswoman, arts patron and philanthropist. The daughter of the late renowned businessman and philanthropist Robert H. Smith and artist Clarice Smith, she became one of the Washington D.C. area’s most respected figures, known for her generous spirit, exacting eye and fierce dedication to championing myriad artistic, cultural and health organizations, as well as educational institutions. Michelle brought to life her passion for art, architecture and design in her stunning penthouse apartment at the Ritz-Carlton Georgetown, where true to her background in real estate and visionary spirit, she undertook a multi-year development in transforming two separate and raw living spaces into the impeccably appointed home that showcased the breadth of her timeless collection. 


Alongside the live auction, an online sale of jewelry, design, and an impressive ensemble of Hermès handbags will be open for bidding from 16-27 April. We invite you to explore the exciting range of offerings in the Online Sale.

Following the guidelines for the Phase Four reopening of Manhattan, we are able to accommodate clients in our building by appointment only. The exhibition for this sale will open on Friday, April 16 and will close on Wednesday, April 21 at 5PM. To schedule an appointment please click here or contact appointmentsNY@sothebys.comor +1 212 606 7171. You can read more about our safety requirements here.

For assistance with bidding and registration, please contact:

+1 212 606 7414


For all enquiries please contact:


Jodi Pollack

Senior Vice President, Co-Worldwide Head, New York

+1 212 606 7170


Marine Hartogs

Vice President Senior Specialist, New York

+1 212 606 7170


Katherine Wallace

Assistant Vice President, Head of Sale, New York

+1 212 606 7170


Louis Soulard

Associate Specialist, New York

+1 212 606 7170 


Adelle Bortz

Sale Administrator, New York

+1 212 606 7170


Carina Villinger

Consultant, New York

+1 212 606 7170


Florent Jeanniard

Senior Director Head of 20th Century Design Europe, Paris

+33 1 53 05 52 69


Laetitia Contat Desfontaines

Director, Head of Sale, London

+44 (0)20 7293 5568



Julian Ehrlich

Associate Specialist, New York

+1 212 606 7254



Anna Di Stasi

Senior Vice President, Director, Latin American Art, New York

+1 212 606 7513



Scott Niichel

Senior Vice President, Co-Head of Department, New York

+1 212 606 7360


Danny Zhang

Associate Specialist, New York

+1 212 606 7360



Frank Everett

Senior Vice President, Sales Director New York

+1 212 606 7392


Quig Bruning

Senior Vice President, Head of Department, New York

+1 212 606 7392


Catharine Becket

Senior Vice President, Head of Magnificent Jewels, New York

+1 212 606 7392


Joanna Pollack

Associate Cataloguer, New York

+1 212 606 7392



John Ward

Senior Vice President, Head of Department, New York

+1 212 606 7160



Alexander Grogan

Vice President, Head of Department, New York

+1 212 894 1312


Please note that as of August 1st 2020, Overhead Premium, a fee payable by all auction buyers in our global salerooms and online sales, will be charged at 1% of the hammer price plus any applicable local taxes. It is an allocation of the overhead costs relating to our facilities, property handling and other administrative expenses. This fee and our Buyer’s Premium rates exclude local taxes and any applicable artist’s resale right.

all images © the gallery and the artist(s)

Selected Lots

more to explore:


By using GalleriesNow.net you agree to our use of cookies to enhance your experience. Close