Weekly Auctions of Exceptional Items
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Cornwall-on-Hudson, NY, United States
DoneWed, May 10, 2006 2:00 PM GMT

African Art-Jean-Pierre Hallet Collection

A Lifetime in Africa-The Auction... African art from the collection of Jean-Pierre Hallet who grew up on the edge of the Ituri rain forest in central Africa. As a child, the pygmies were his playmates. As an adult, his life's work was to defend and protect his pygmy friends. On May 9 and 10 in NYC, Mid-Hudson Galleries will offer hundreds of significant artworks from his collection.

Jean-Pierre Hallet was the founder of The Pygmy Fund. This unprecedented auction of African art will be held in the auditorium of The Church of St. Paul the Apostle on Columbus Ave. at 60th Street. M. Hallet was a man more intimately connected to Africa than perhaps any other westerner. Joanne Grant, President of Mid-Hudson announced on March 28 that a portion of the proceeds from the auction will benefit The Pygmy Fund.

Born in 1927, Hallet was the son of Andre Hallet, the famed Belgian painter who lived in the Congo. At six, he left his pygmy playmates to go to school in Europe. He was already the height of an average adult pygmy in the forest. He returned in 1948 with a Sorbonne education and a degree in agronomy and sociology. He was 21 years old and 6 feet 5 inches tall. His incredible life was about to unfold.

Jean-Pierre Hallet lived with the pygmies and learned six aboriginal languages. Appealing and charismatic, he charmed Tonight show viewers as a guest of Johnny Carson and was photographed with Dwight Eisenhower. He wrote three best selling books about his lifetime of adventure. This collection is rich in Tanzanian artworks, an exciting and new field of collecting and artworks of the Congo are extensive. Rare, appealing or exciting, this auction offers something for everyone from advanced collector to gallery owner, dealer to designer and everyone in between.