Saturday, February 07, 2009

Frank Sinatra Exhibit Planned for Mob Museum

Frank Sinatra's presence will loom large over the mob museum, if the project survives some political and economic hurdles.

Museum organizers have big plans for a Sinatra exhibit, if things go their way.

One of the featured pieces in the museum would be a rare self-portrait of Sinatra, which depicts him as a sad-faced clown.

It was quietly purchased in October 2007 from Peggy King, widow of Sinatra pal Sonny King, the Las Vegas lounge legend who died three years ago this week.

Peggy King is convinced the museum is the perfect home for the artwork. Christie's, the famed auction house, has been pestering her for several years, she said, "but I didn't want it in a private home, where the public wouldn't see it.

"This is what Sonny would have wanted, and it's what Frank would have wanted."

Sinatra, who was the godfather of King's daughter, gave the painting to King in 1964 after they completed filming "Robin and the 7 Hoods." King played one of Robin's hoods in the 1964 film, which featured Sinatra and his Rat Pack pals.

Sinatra painted the self-portrait seven years earlier, while filming "The Joker is Wild." He portrayed Joe E. Lewis, a successful Chicago nightclub entertainer who got crossways with the mob and was left for dead after having his face slashed and his vocal chords cut.

After recovering from his injuries, Lewis returns as a stand-up comedian who battles alcohol problems.

Sinatra, who had a lifelong affinity for clowns, wore clown costumes during the film.

King's widow has been selling 16-by-20-inch canvas-like reproductions, known as giclees, from the King estate. About 100 of the 300 remain, and one recently sold for $5,500 at a charity for a children's cause, she said.

Thanks to Norm Clarke

No comments:

Post a Comment