South O’ the Highway

Little Edie Beale’s Grey Gardens Letters to Be Auctioned

Ten letters and cards written to veteran publicist and author Walter Newkirk from Little Edie Bouvier Beale, once owner of East Hampton’s Grey Gardens estate, will be auctioned on June 26 and June 27 by Beverly Hills “auction house to the stars” Julien’s Auctions.

The auction of these letters will precede an August 4–30 revival run of Grey Gardens: The Musical at Sag Harbor’s Bay Street Theater, starring Tony winner Betty Buckley and Rachel York.

This year also marks the 40th anniversary of Albert and David Maysles documentary film Grey Gardens, which originally debuted at The New York Film Fesitval in 1975.

The documentary gave a brief glimpse into the lives of Little Edie Beale and her mother Big Edie, the eccentric relatives of Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis and denizens of a sprawling, dilapidated East Hampton mansion. It remains a compelling oddity and cult favorite.

Letters To Be Auctioned:

1. August 4, 1977, sent from Grey Gardens, as indicated on stationary in Edie’s handwriting – Edie discusses preparation to sell the Grey Gardens estate.

2. August 13, 1977, sent from Grey Gardens, as indicated on the stationary in Edie’s handwriting – Edie prepares to sell the house and misses her mother, Big Edie, who died seven months earlier.

3. December 5, 1977 Christmas card sent from Grey Gardens, as indicated on the stationary in Edie’s handwriting – Edie writes about her upcoming bus ride on the Hampton Jitney to NYC for her “eye operation” to remove a cataract.

4. August 5, 1978, sent from Grey Gardens, as indicated on the “grape” stationary – Edie wrote about her act at Reno Sweeney’s.

5. December 25, 1978 Christmas Card sent from Grey Gardens  Edie writes a brief note about: “working on the 3rd floor” and “not being ready to sell the house.”

6. Transcribed by Edie in her handwriting from Zolar’s It’s All In The Stars, a horoscope for Walter Newkirk. August 1-10 and August 8 are dates cited.

7. Written on a piece of note-size stationary from the BARBIZON HOTEL for Women where Edie stayed when she lived in NYC, and discusses Grey Gardens.

8. Written on a piece of note paper with graphic of a fish taped to top of note paper this is about a party for the book The Cinematic Cat  Edie writes about the party and Pat Loud, the literary agent for the book who hosted the party.

9. GOD BLESS AMERICA color art taped on top of note shortly after 9/11 – Edie writes, “I do not think this is a good time for a musical; GG.” Circa 10/2001.

10. Dated April 23, 2000, an Easter Card created on an Easter-themed placemat from a diner.

The auction for Little Edie’s letters will take place June 26 and 27 online at julienslive.com and bidding starts at $300.

For more information on Grey Gardens The Musical visit baystreet.org or call 631-725-9500. Bay Street Theater is located at on the corner of Bay Street and Main Street in Downtown Sag Harbor.

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