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Garbo's Personal Art Collections
- By Jesse Y. -

After relocating to New York from Los Angeles, Greta took up her first residence in a two room apartment at the Ritz Towers on Park Avenue. And then later in 1951 the Central Park South location of the Hampshire House provided an elegantly furnished four room apartment that became her home. And though she had continued to study and collect more artwork, it wasn`t until 1953 that her final change of address to a 10th floor apartment at 450 East Fifty-second Street became her new home where she could finally display these objects.

This is where she would permanently stay and focus her energies towards having a space that was coordinated with her acquired art work. A brief mention of the interior design decisions by her is worth noting, because of Greta`s not placing much trust in professional decorators. Her own instincts were her decorating guide, for the most part. Though financial considerations may have sometimes been part of the logic behind what she selected to buy,more times than not, it was all about color alone. Colors that she liked. This is what was at the heart of her collecting and decorating impulses. Visitors that had the good fortune of being invited into her apartment reported that the color pallette of choice for Greta Garbo was all about muted pinks, salmon, rose, and crimsons.

She simply loved these colors and their subtle variations. And so it was with the general color scheme of much, but not all, of the art work she acquired; and the subject matter many times being that of dogs, flowers, and clowns. Within the confines of the apartment's paneled walls of her favorite space, the sun filled living room overlooking a broad view of the East River, was the Louis XV  and Louis XVI furniture placed with beautiful Savonerrie rugs paired up with her library of designer-installed, leather bound books. Some of the art work that shared  this space consisted of renowned Impressionists and modern painters. And then some arists that were more obscure rounded out the collection. In terms of auction analysis, among the total number of Greta's acquired paintings,13 were considered blue-chip. And she had decided that 6 of these, her 3 Renoirs, 1 Bonnard, and 2 Rouaults, worked in fine color harmony there. Throughout that room and various other spaces were examples like a rustic watercolor by Jean-Baptiste Leprince, and a small painting from the nineteenth century French school.

Little known Gabriel Dauchot and Elisabeth Faure were represented with paintings of a harlequin and a vase of flowers, respectively. And Greta even had an abstract painting from her own brother, Sven. It was titled Embracing Couple. Later in her life she became interested in the art movement of the German Expressionists. Upon first exposure their works unnerved her, but her appreciation began to grow as she studied art discourses on Emil Nolde, Max Beckmann, and Alexej von Jawlensky. It was Jawlensky who eventually became her favorite, and in the end  she owned 7 of his works. Besides her decorating skills, Greta was known to design and paint a series motif of various birds rendered in a Post- Modern style. She called these works Birds of Flight And she later contracted with the manufacturer V`soske Inc. to have these painted figures transposed into several of their elite hand-crafted rugs.

She displayed these rugs in her apartment and was very proud of them. Greta's great niece, Gray Horan, has commented that Greta once told her: “If I had not been an actress, I would have been good at whatever I had set up to do.” Greta Garbo`s later years were very private ones. Her quiet moments, for the most part, were spent in these rooms of art that were rich and colorful; spaces that were upbeat and vibrant and gave her spirit some solace from all that seemed to chase after her. .
Garbo Art
Artists about Garbo
Garbo's Personal Art Collection
Sketches by Cecil Beaton
  Garbo Sculptures and Busts   
          Part I   
          Part II   
  Artwork about Garbo   
          Part I   
          Part II   
          Part III   
          Part IV   
          Part V   
  Garbo Fan Art   
          Caricatures by David Lee   
          Carchets by Kundu Nirlay   
          Fan Art by Clovie   
          Fan Art by GarboWerner   
          Fan Art by RubyRed   
          Fan Art by TJ   
          Garbo-Caps by Theo   
          Garbo's Dreampinups   
          Greg' Garbo Stories   
          Portraits by Carmen Luna   
          Portraits by Leslie Penn   
          Stockholm Tour by Bea   
          The Faces of Harriet Brown   


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