Philadelphia Director Jonathan Demme Auctioning Massive Art Collection at Material Culture

Oscar-winning director of Philadelphia and The Silence of the Lambs Jonathan Demme has spent years amassing quite an impressive collection of Caribbean art — colorful gems by artists like Wilson Bigaud, Daniel Pressley, and Hector Hyppolite. And now he’s ready to share his treasures with the world. Starting March 22nd, at Philadelphia eclectic-art haven Material Culture, Demme will present and auction off most of his collection in Direct From the Eye: The Jonathan Demme Collection of Self-Taught Art.” More from AP

Now 70 and having spent the better part of three decades amassing pieces from Haiti and other Caribbean countries as well as the United States, South America and Africa, the director … said he’s looking to “streamline and simplify” his life by selling 90 percent of his well-regarded collection of self-taught or “outsider” art.

More than 900 pieces — many of them by artists with little or no formal training but abundant talent — will be auctioned at Philadelphia’s Material Culture on March 29-30. The sale will be preceded by a weeklong exhibition that is free and open to the public.

Demme, whose collection includes many pieces produced at the Centre d’Art, the landmark Port-au-Prince art cooperative destroyed in the 2010 earthquake, said he plans to donate a portion of the proceeds to the rebuilding effort. The auction is expected to bring in $1 million to $1.4 million.

The exhibit is free and on view  March 22nd to 29th at Material Culture (4700 Wissahickon Ave.) The auctions take place on Saturday, March 29th, and Sunday, March 30th at 11 a.m. You can browse the auction catalog here. More on the sale here