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National

Auction Sets Record For Contemporary Art Sale

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

Artwork doesn't need to feature color to be worth a lot of the green stuff. Maybe that's the lesson from a record-breaking auction at Christie's in New York last night, which we previewed on this program yesterday.

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

This event had been hyped for months, and it attracted some of the world's richest collectors. The highlights turned out to be two rare black-and-white portraits by Andy Warhol.

MONTAGNE: Both feature American cultural icons. "Four Marlons," taken from a still of the actor Marlon Brando's movie "The Wild One," was snagged for nearly $70 million. And "Triple Elvis," which portrays the King in three overlapping images, sold for nearly 82 million.

GREENE: When all was said and done, there was a new record set for all art auctions. Seventy-five pieces sold for a record-setting total of nearly 853 million bucks. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.