02/05/12

Tony Bennett Auctions New Painting of Louis Armstrong for Charity

Auction Will Fund Satchmo’s Home in Queens, N.Y.

In 1970, Tony Bennett created an oil portrait of one of Louis Armstrong that he presented it to Armstrong personally. Bennett’s portrait still hangs in the den of Armstrong’s house, now the Louis Armstrong House Museum. Visitors to the museum hear an audio recording of Armstrong speaking about the painting and about his friend “Benedetto” (Tony Bennett’s birth name).

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Ben Johnson

Tony Bennett in performance on November 4, 2011 at Academy of Music in Philadelphia

Now, 42 years later, Bennett has painted a new portrait of Armstrong, which he has donated to be auctioned off on Charitybuzz.com, to raise funds for the museum. The oil painting depicts Armstrong performing on his gold-plated Selmer trumpet. In the lower right corner is Bennett’s signature, “Benedetto.”

The Charitybuzz.com auction of the new portrait will be open for bidding online at Charity Buzz until Feb. 29. Both Bennett’s original painting of Armstrong and his new painting will be on exhibit together during the month of February at the Louis Armstrong House Museum until the close of the auction, giving museum visitors the rare opportunity to see both paintings together before the auctioned painting ends up with a private collector.

Proceeds from the auction will underwrite historic house tours, concerts and community programs at the museum, which is located at 34-56 107th Avenue in Corona, Queens and online at Louis Armstrong House.

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