A painting by former U.S. President Jimmy Carter, age 92, fetched $525,000 at auction last week. It was the top lot in a benefit sale that brought in more than $2.7 million for the Carter Center.
Carter's oil “Monarchs and Milkweed” went to an unidentified buyer during the silent and live auction. The event was held June 21 - 25 near Lake Tahoe, California.
All proceeds from the sale benefit the Carter Center’s peacekeeping, disease fighting and other efforts in poor and underserved countries around the world. Another $1,050,000 was raised in restricted donations for the Center’s trachoma program.
Other top lots included: “Imagine Peace,” a silk screen that was signed by the artist Yoko Ono, which sold for $145,000; a framed and autographed photo of five first ladies, including Rosalynn Carter ($130,000); a mahogany four-poster bed designed by President Carter and created by master furniture maker Andrew Reid ($80,000); a guitar autographed by music superstar Paul Simon ($60,000), and wine and memorabilia from Skywalker Ranch Vineyards ($50,000).
Former President George W. Bush also is an aspiring artist. Bush has portrayed world leaders, his dog, and more intimate themes that were first exposed when hiss sister's email account was hacked. His latest series, "Portraits of Courage," paintings of military veterans, were compiled into a book and went on display at the Bush Center in Dallas. Proceeds from books sales benefit the center's Military Sevice Initiative.