The late Emmy Award-winning actress Bea Arthur entertained millions of viewers with her roles in “Maude” and, perhaps most famously, “The Golden Girls,” as the character Dorothy Zbornak. Arthur died of cancer in 2009 at age 86 but now she’s back in the news — and it has nothing to do with her long and illustrious career.
A topless painting of the actress, creatively titled “Bea Arthur Naked,” was recently sold for $1.9 million at a New York City auction. Artist John Currin created the topless portrait way back in 1991 and finally decided to sell it at Christie’s Post-War and Contemporary Art auction. It looks like Currin’s patience in moving the portrait paid off financially.
The odd thing about the old painting is that Currin randomly decided to alter the clothed Arthur photo it was based on and depicted the actress topless from the waist up. Even stranger is that in 1991 when the painting was completed Arthur was already 69 years old. Still the work obviously appeals to a customer with a particular taste in art. Maybe it’s not surprising that the identity of the “Bea Arthur Naked” buyer hasn’t been released, but hopefully, he got his money’s worth. What about you: Would you pay that much for the portrait?