Sotheby’s to Host One-Time Performance of Broadway’s ‘Lempicka’

The Broadway musical tells tale of the tumultuous and successful life of Art Deco painter Tamara de Lempicka.

Black and white photo of woman wearing black hat
Tamara de Lempicka photographed in 1932. Iagno/Getty Images

For the first time in its 280-year history, Sotheby's will host a Broadway performance. The auction house today (Jan. 17) will stage a one-night-only event celebrating Lempicka, an upcoming Broadway show centered on the life and work of Polish artist Tamara de Lempicka.

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Hosted by leading lady Eden Espinosa, an actress most well-known for her performances in Wicked, the Sotheby’s New York event will feature the show’s yet-to-be-announced cast. The actual Broadway edition is scheduled to open this spring at Manhattan’s Longacre Theatre, with performances beginning on March 19 ahead of the official opening night on April 14.

SEE ALSO: Sotheby’s Revamps Its Auction Fees, Reducing Buyer Premiums

Lempicka’s introduction to Broadway follows the show’s initial premier at Massachusetts’s Williamstown Theatre Festival in 2018 and runs at San Diego’s La Jolla Playhouse in 2022. Directed by Tony Award winner Rachel Chavkin, the pop-infused musical chronicles the escapades, successes and turmoil of Lempicka, a painter known for her stylized and glamorous Art Deco portraits, while living in Parisian high society in the 1920s.

Art handlers hold up to large portraits in gallery
Paintings by Tamara de Lempicka shown at Sotheby’s in 2009. Oli Scarff/Getty Images

Lempicka’s work has fetched staggering sums at auction over the years, with collectors including the likes of Madonna, Barbra Streisand, Tim Rice and Jack Nicholson, in addition to designers Donna Karan and Wolfgang Joop. The artist’s auction record was set in 2020 when her 1932 Portrait de Marjorie Ferry fetched more than $21 million.

This won’t be the first time Sotheby’s has featured the painter, who is best known for her sensual portraits of aristocrats. In November of 2022, the auction house brought in more than $14 million for Lempicka’s 1928 Portrait de Romana de la Salle. A decade earlier, Sotheby’s offered up the artist’s Nu adossé I, which hadn’t been seen since disappearing after a 1925 exhibition in Milan.

Sotheby’s will host a selling exhibition to celebrate the show

Following the presentation of Lempicka at Sotheby’s New York, the artist’s work will once again return to the auction house for a selling exhibition scheduled in tandem with the show’s Broadway opening. Taking place between March 28 and April 16, The World of Tamara—A Celebration of ‘Lempicka’ and Art Deco will offer up the painter’s work and other items from the period. More information will be revealed by the auctioneer in the lead-up to the show.

“We are thrilled to celebrate the legacy of Tamara de Lempicka whose distinctive style continues to shape culture today,” said Julian Dawes, Sotheby’s head of impressionist and modern art for the Americas, in a statement. “A pioneer in her own right, Lempicka has received remarkable success, and it is an honor to present a range of her works alongside iconic examples of art deco—from jewelry to design, cars and more—in what is sure to be a highly anticipated and exciting selling exhibition.”

Sotheby’s to Host One-Time Performance of Broadway’s ‘Lempicka’