I had the great fortune to be invited onto the renowned Annenberg Estate where Leonore and Walter spent the last year’s of their lives in Rancho Mirage this past week. My friend and ex-colleague Mary Perry is serving as the marketing person for what is to become the upcoming Sunnylands Center for Art which will open in November.
The purpose for my visit was to view the totem pole restoration that was taking place by the Hunt Family from Canada of a pole that their father had created for the Annenbergs years ago. This is the family that was famous in Canada for totem poles and also for creating totem pole paint, known for its vibrancy and durability.
Two things amazed me about the Annenberg Estate. One, that the actual house was a simple and exquisite Quincy Jones building on a lot of property so that the property became the beauty of the place, and the fact that the Annenbergs had supported so many diverse kinds of art, such as this totem pole that sat for years on a remote corner of lawn on all this wild acreage.
Unfortunately, the grounds had been stripped and de-gutted of every living, breathing possession (necessary in the archival phase of the estate today) but there was a curiously scintillating square wooden shed that had been built around the Rodin while all this renovation goes on that thrilled me to my core. Knowing this masterpiece was inside this temporary shed amongst the bare bones of a legacy couple’s last shells of life, and that it was poised to be shared with the world real soon, excited me beyond belief, because good art after all should be seen by all.