Stanley J. Seeger (1930-2011) was one of the greatest collectors of our time – a man of protean taste and all-embracing interests, with a voracious appetite for the beautiful and the quirky, and for things associated with key people or moments in history. Together with his kindred spirit and partner of 32 years Christopher Cone, Stanley Seeger devoted much of his rich and fascinating – but always very private – life to seeking out the vast array of special objects that were to surround them during their years together. This spring, over the course of two full days on 5th works from this extraordinary collection, spanning some 75 collecting categories, will be offered for sale at Sotheby’s, under the title 1000 Ways of Seeing.
Among the lots, nn extraordinary rarity and a fascinating insight into the making of Citizen Kane – widely acknowledged as among the very greatest films ever made. Welles kept few mementoes of his films and only one other of his Citizen Kane scripts is recorded.
Not only is this copy particularly rare – only one other of Welles’ scripts for Citizen Kane is recorded – but it also comes with a prestigious provenance. It was purchased at Christie’s New York, East on 16 December 1991 by Stanley J. Seeger, who collected modern masters and curios with the same unbridled enthusiasm. This copy will go under the hammer as part of the 1000 Ways of Seeing sale, which also features fossilized dinosaur eggs (lot 1), a silver teapot that once belonged to Admiral Nelson (lot 465), and Al Capone’s cocktail shaker (lot 685).
Stanley Joseph Seeger Jr was born in Milwaukee on 28 May 1930. Heir to a family timber and oil fortune, he was one of the greatest collectors of his generation. He would, as he cheerfully admitted in his light American accent, ‘collect anything.’ Throughout his life, with the help of his partner Christopher Cone, he assembled a collection of beautiful works of art, whether paintings, drawings, prints or objects. Stanley Seeger studied architecture and music composition at Princeton, where he earned a bachelor’s and a masters degree. He then pursued his studies in Florence under the Italian composer Luigi Dallapiccola. For the rest of his life he would spend part of the day writing music, surrounded by the drums, banjos, serpents, lutes, whistles and music stands that can be seen in his personal collection.