Stuart Sutcliffe, affectionately known as the fifth Beatle, and who died in 1962, is having his estate sold at auction by Fleetwood Owen, the auction house co-owned by Mick Fleetwood of Fleetwod Mac fame. The approximately 400 items are being sold as one lot by sealed bid due Dec. 5th. The collection, or most of it, can be seen in New York at the Westwood Gallery at 578 Broadway Oct. 17-Nov. 3.
The lot includes Sutcliffe's artwork, personal letters, his first guitar and photographs of him with the other Beatles. His late abstract/expressionist art is of significant quality according to art historian Donald Kuspit.
"Stuart was truly a painter who had fun with music," says Mick Fleetwod. "His journey was art; the Beatles' journey was music."
While a member of the early Beatles, bassist Sutcliffe, was closest to John Lennon. He joined Lennon's rock and roll group Johnny and the Moondogs in 1959. After touring Scotland in 1960 he convinced Lennon to change the name of the group to the Silver Beatles. While the Beatles were performing in Hamburg, Germany on their second tour in 1961, he enrolled in art school and then dropped out of the group. He died of cerebral paralysis due to bleeding into the right ventricle of the brain in 1962.