"The DAX Foundation," which acquired the Oscar from the Welles' Estate (in 2003, apparently), intends to use proceeds of the sale to relieve poverty, animal suffering, and to help provide human organs to those who need them. These goals would be compatible with interests we know that Beatrice Welles has expressed.
Here is the press release posted on the DAX Website:
SOTHEBY'S TO SELL AN ICON OF AMERICAN FILM
ORSON WELLES' ACADEMY AWARD FOR CITIZEN KANE
THE ONLY OSCAR® WON BY THE FAMED
WRITER, DIRECTOR, ACTOR AND PRODUCER
ESTIMATED TO SELL FOR MORE THAN $1 MILLION ON DECEMBER 11, 2007
NEW YORK and LOS ANGELES - October 16, 2007 –- On December 11, 2007, Sotheby’s New York will offer for sale an icon of American film and one of the most important pieces of movie memorabilia ever to come to auction -- Orson Welles’ own 1941 Academy Award for Best Screenplay for the renowned masterpiece, Citizen Kane. Widely considered the greatest film of all time, Welles’ cinematic masterpiece was voted the number one film in history by the American Film Institute in 2007 and by the British Film Institute in 2002.
The Oscar®, once believed to be lost by Welles himself, resurfaced in 1994 and, after a lengthy legal battle, was returned to the Orson Welles Estate. The award was acquired from the Welles Estate in 2003 on behalf of the Dax Foundation, a Los Angeles-based, non-profit, charitable foundation which is selling the Oscar® and using all of the proceeds to help fund the organization’s charitable initiatives and worldwide humanitarian efforts. The Academy Award, which is estimated to sell for $800,000/1.2 million, will be on public exhibition at Sotheby’s from December 7-10 prior to its sale on December 11, 2007*.
“Citizen Kane is Welles at genius level,” said Leila Dunbar, Director of Sotheby’s Collectibles Department. “Welles was fearless in writing and presenting the story of a powerful mogul such as William Randolph Hearst despite the consequences, and the movie broke new ground in its innovative photography, editing and sound. Citizen Kane is probably the world’s most famous film and for the past six decades has and continues to influence generations of filmmakers.”
Remarkably, Citizen Kane stands as Orson Welles’ first feature film after his move to Hollywood at just 25 years of age. The film records the story of publishing magnate Charles Foster Kane whose early career was guided by a loyalty to the greater social good, a path which would later deteriorate to a narcissistic quest for individual supremacy. Widely understood as being based on the life of American publishing baron, William Randolph Hearst, the film was the subject of a smear campaign, ignored by all media outlets under the Hearst umbrella and the movie ultimately underperformed at the box office, although it received universal critical raves for its remarkable writing and production. Nominated for three Oscars at the 1942 Academy Awards for writer (with Herman J. Mankiewicz), director and actor in a leading role, Welles received only one golden statuette that evening, and it remained the only Academy Award he won in his lifetime. Even more shocking, the film was not even nominated for Best Picture, as the far less controversial (and memorable) “How Green Was My Valley” took home the award.
Welles continued to write, direct, produce and perform film and radio productions throughout the rest of his life, but none would receive the attention, nor the acclaim of Citizen Kane. In 1971, Welles received an Honorary Award for his contribution to the history of motion pictures and in 1975 the American Film Institute gave him the Lifetime Achievement Award. Citizen Kane was voted the number one U.S. film by the American Film Institute in 2007 and the greatest film in history by Sight & Sounds Top Ten Poll 2002, conducted by the British Film Institute.
The Dax Foundation is selling Orson Welles’ 1941 Academy Award for Citizen Kane to “celebrate and honor Welles’ accomplishments in the face of great adversity and further raise awareness of the Foundation’s primary mission of helping all people follow their hearts, discover their passions and, like Welles, to pursue and realize their dreams in order to help make the world a better place.”
About The Dax Foundation
The Dax Foundation is a private, California-based 501(c)(3) non-profit, philanthropic organization that implements and supports innovative programs that help people around the world identify, pursue, and realize their dreams. The Foundation provides resources, support, and raises awareness for those individuals and groups whose vision includes making the world a better place for all people and animals. Sample projects currently supported by the Foundation include the Mayfair Foundation, a recreation and educational facility for severely disabled children, Over A Barrel, a rescue and treatment facility for abused and neglected animals, Organs ‘R’ Us, a program dedicated to raising awareness about the critical need for life-saving organ donation, Maui Cat, a humane program to reduce the pain and suffering of rampant feral cat populations, and other deserving programs around the world. For more information on the Dax Foundation, please visit www.daxfoundation.org
Sotheby’s is a global company that engages in art auction, private sales and art-related financing activities. The Company operates in 40 countries, with principal salesrooms located in New York and London. The Company also regularly conducts auctions in 11 other salesrooms around the world, including Australia, Hong Kong, France, Italy, the Netherlands, Switzerland and Singapore. Sotheby’s is listed on the New York Stock Exchange under the symbol BID.
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212 606 7176
The Dax Foundation
310 499 1497
*Estimates do not include buyer’s premium