More than 150 personal artifacts and artwork that Judge Ruth Bader Ginsburg kept in her Washington residence and Supreme Court chambers are up for auction.
The Potomack Company auction house in Alexandria, Virginia, this month opened catalogs for the items, including Picasso ceramics and a caricature print of the widely admired Justice, who died in 2020. Proceeds will benefit the Washington National Opera, whose concerts were Justice Ginsburg. regularly present.
The Potomack Company said it would donate 10 percent of the seller’s commission to scholarships offered by the Women of Berkeley Law, a student group at the University of California, Berkeley, School of Law. Justice Ginsburg was known for more than half a century for his fight for women’s rights.
The auction for Justice Ginsburg’s collection of modern art will take place on April 27, followed by a session the following day featuring decorative art and mementos from her Supreme Court chambers and residence at the Watergate complex in Washington.
“These items are truly tangible pieces of her life and times as one of America’s greatest Supreme Court justices,” Elizabeth Haynie Wainstein, owner of the Potomack Company, said Wednesday. “These items would be of interest to all Americans who admired Justice Ginsburg as a civil rights pioneer and advocate of equality for all Americans.”
Ms. Wainstein said the highest-estimated bids were Pablo Picasso’s ceramic pieces, one of which had a bid of $15,000 on Wednesday.
There is a caricature print of Justice Ginsburg by the artist Eleanor Davis. The print, which hung in the judge’s Supreme Court chambers, had a bid of $7,500 on Wednesday.
A “natural black mink coat” with the judge’s name in a pocket was bid $1,200.
On the more affordable side, there is a concert poster of a performance with her grandson. The offer was $30 on Wednesday.
The collection also includes bronze sculptures by Glenna Goodacre, who designed the Vietnam Women’s Memorial in Washington. There are medals and awards that Justice Ginsburg has received over the years.
Judge Ginsburg died in September 2020 at age 87 of complications from metastatic pancreatic cancer. She was the second woman to serve on the Supreme Court.
In her later years, Justice Ginsburg developed a rock star following and became a popular cultural figure for younger generations.
A law student, Shana Knizhnik, nicknamed her the Notorious RBG – a play on the name of the Notorious BIG, the rapper who, like Justice Ginsburg, was from Brooklyn. She became a pop culture icon and inspired impersonations on NBC’s “Saturday Night Live”.
The auction is the latest example of how Justice Ginsburg has been honored and remembered.
Last month, the Smithsonian National Museum of American History said the judge’s children donated her “dissidence” collar, which she wore when she presented strong and sharp opinions that ran counter to the Supreme Court majority.
The distinctive collar is one of four to be donated, along with other items, including the court robe she most often wore during her more than 25 years on the court. The donations coincide with the museum’s decision to posthumously award Justice Ginsburg his signature honor, the Great Americans Medal.
On March 31, the US Navy said it would name a ship after her. The USNS Ruth Bader Ginsburg will be a John Lewis-class oil supply vessel designed to carry fuel to the Navy’s operational carrier strike groups, the Navy said.
The ship will be the first U.S. Navy vessel to bear Justice Ginsburg’s name and be sponsored by her daughter, Jane Ginsburg. The ship has not yet been built.