One year ago: Frances L. Brody
Frances L. Brody was an art aficionado with a fierce intellect and pointed opinions whose private art collection fetched more than $224 million at an auction in May. She died one year ago at age 93.
Brody, along with her husband, Sidney, played a major role in the launch of the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, which opened in 1965. For many years, she was a force on the UCLA Art Council, which she helped found and served as president.
The Huntington Library, Art Collections and Gardens in San Marino, where Brody was a guiding patron and board member for 20 years, received a portion of the proceeds from her posthumous art auction.
Brody and her husband lived in a modernist masterpiece in Holmby Hills designed by architect A. Quincy Jones and decorator William Haines that became a gathering spot for a dazzling cross-section of the city's elite, from old Los Angeles families such as the Chandlers to Hollywood icons Gary Cooper and Joan Crawford.
"Francie was one of those originals -- really smart, inquisitive," said longtime friend Robert C. Ritchie, the Huntington Library's director of research. "As a collector, she knew what she liked and knew what she didn't like and ... you knew where she stood. It was never unpleasant, just 'Here's what I think.' "
For more on the storied Los Angeles art patron and her husband, read Frances L. Brody's obituary by The Times.
-- Michael Farr
Photo: Frances L. Brody