Seller Story: Melissa Galt, Atlanta, GA

“My great grandfather was Frank Lloyd Wright. I never met him, but from him I got the expression for how I live my life, which is ‘Give me the luxuries of life and I will willingly do without the necessities.’ I’ve been a designer for 23 years.

My mother knew him quite well. She was an actress, Anne Baxter; she’s probably best known for being Eve in All About Eve with Bette Davis, and then she was in Ten Commandments. Mother would send Frank unedited versions of her films, and he would make his own versions. That’s how he rolled.

Mother was real big on museums and travel. She would take off 30 days every summer and take us on a trip. The house we grew up in was very international. Mother traveled widely, and she collected on her travels. She picked things up and just found places for them. She also collected when she was on the sets of films, so, for example, there’s a little Spanish hand organ that came from one of mother’s film sets. Quite possibly it came from when she did a murder mystery filmed in Spain.

She gave me the travel bug and she gave me the collecting bug. A lot of the pieces in that sale are from travels I’ve taken, and I just decided that I’m at a point where less is more. I’m still keeping some treasures that I have, but I have a lot more of the memories now, and I need fewer treasures. I’d rather share them with people.”

Seller Story: Melissa Galt, Atlanta, GA
Seller Story: Melissa Galt, Atlanta, GA
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Seller Story: Melissa Galt, Atlanta, GA

What were some of the first things you started collecting?

In my twenties, it was powerful female imagery, and Pegge Hopper has a lot of that. I have about 5 Pegge Hopper lithographs in the sale, all signed. My father owned originals, but when he became born again — before I started collecting mine— he gave them away! You have no idea how painful it is for me to say that.

There’s a wonderful John Lennon piece. It’s a John, Julian and Yoko, done by John, published post-mortem and signed by Yoko with a stamp signature. I bought two of his pieces at a gallery in Chicago many years ago because I was so captivated by his style.

Any other treasure from your mother’s collection?

There are several of mother’s movie posters. The reason I let those go is because I’ve got the ones that are near and dear to me. And because, as a designer, there’s only certain colors I live with, and those colors aren’t in the ones I’m letting go.

I also included a Carrera marble polar bear. He was a gift to my mother from her late and last husband, a treasured piece.

What’s one of your favorite pieces from your design career?

There is a very large collection of black amethyst glass in the sale from a 20-year collection that started with my first show home. I scoured obscure antique places, backyard sales, everywhere. A lot of people overlook black amethyst because it looks black, but when you hold it up to the light, it turns purple.

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