Jasper Johns' Flag Sells for $28.6M
Painting breaks previous John's record
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted May 12, 2010 3:13 PM CDT
This photo provided by Christie's auction house shows Jasper Johns' "Flag," a pop art rendition of the American flag created in the 1960s that author Michael Crichton bought from the artist in 1973.   (AP Photo/Christie's, File)
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(Newser) – Jasper Johns' seminal work Flag from the collection of the late author Michael Crichton sold for $28.6 million at a New York City auction yesterday, an auction record for the artist. Christie's said the work was purchased by an American art dealer during high-spirited bidding by phone and in the room. Four bidders competed.

Christie's catalog called Flag "one of the greatest icons of modern art alongside Picasso's Guernica and Andy Warhol's Marilyn. It's a 1960 encaustic and paper collage rendition of the stars and stripes, which Crichton bought from Johns in 1973 and hung in his Beverly Hills bedroom. It has been exhibited only once for a pop art survey at the Royal Academy of Arts in London in 1992-1993. The previous Johns' auction record was $17.4 million for Figure 4, in 2007.