RCL Exclusive

Robin Williams Photo Archive Is Now Developing a Bidding War

Auction offers chance to buy an image from the actor for a good cause.

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They took slightly more than one hour to collect — years in actuality — but fans will want to see what develops with this selection of photographs of Robin Williams.

Taken over the course of more than 15 years, a collection of images showcasing  the One Hour Photo star and his family is coming up sale via Sotheby’s as part of the “Creating a Stage: The Collection of Marsha and Robin Williams” auction.

Photographed by Arthur Grace after he met Williams while on assignment for Newsweek, the images show the actor on and off the stage and in and out of the public spotlight. The results give an intimate peak into the life of the comedian who died so tragically in 2014.

Robin Williams at the Metropolitan Opera House during a shoot, New York, 1986. (Arthur Grace)
Robin Williams with Rodin’s “The Thinker,” San Francisco. (Arthur Grace)
Robin Williams in a limo after leaving an Oscars party in Los Angeles, 1998. (Arthur Grace)

“I had never seen anyone like him before and had never laughed so hard in my life,” Grace said of meeting Willams for the first time.

Showing Williams as his comedic self, a family man, and sometimes even displaying a side that many didn’t know until he was gone, the pictures which are up for auction are part of a larger collection of pieces that belonged to Williams and his second wife Marsha.

“Robin’s favorites were as mutable as he was,” she said in a release from Sotheby’s. “It might be a different answer every day.”

Robin and Marsha Williams. (Arthur Grace)
Robin Williams backstage with a prop after a performance. (Arthur Grace)
Robin and Marsha with Williams children Zak, Zelda and Cody, San Francisco, 1995. (Arthur Grace)

A portion of the proceeds from the sale of the photos will go to charities including the Human Rights Watch, Christopher and Dana Reeve Foundation, Challenged Athletes Foundation, St. Jude’s Children’s Research Hospital and Wounded Warrior Project. The funds will also be used to help permanently establish the Robin Williams Scholarship Fund at the Julliard School.

As Grace puts it, photographing Williams was “the most extraordinary trip of my life.”

That trip led him to publish even more of the images in Robin Williams: A Singular Portrait, 1986–2002 which was released in 2016.

Robin Williams at the Metropolitan Opera House, New York, 1986. (Arthur Grace)
Robin Williams with his pet lizard in Malibu, 1989. (Arthur Grace)
Robin Williams playing a video game in a kid’s playroom, San Francisco, 1993. (Arthur Grace)

The images, as well as a plethora of other pieces connected to Williams, including his 1978 Golden Globe, a Banksy pieced entitled “Happy Choppers” and a watercolor painted by Gus Van Sant, will be on view at Sotheby’s New York through October 3 with the sale to follow on the 4th.

For more information on the “Creating a Stage: The Collection of Marsha and Robin Williams” sale, head to Sotheby’s website.