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Jack Kevorkian's paintings, memorabilia up for auction

Jack Kevorkian's painting, Nearer My God to Thee
Photo courtesy of the Ariana Gallery in Royal Oak
Jack Kevorkian's painting, Nearer My God to Thee

The late Dr. Jack Kevorkian’s art work and other memorabilia will be auctioned off next month. The auction will be held at the New York Institute of Technology in Manhattan on October 27th-28th.

Kevorkian left behind lots of paintings he had created when he died this past June. Now 23 of those paintings are going on the auction block. Many of the paintings are quite dark: commentaries on genocide, on death and dying, on destruction.

The PBS program Frontline provides this summary of Kevorkian's art work:

In the 1960's Dr. Jack Kevorkian enrolled in an adult education oil painting class in Pontiac, Michigan. He combined his understanding of the human anatomy with his fascination with death and created, as author Michael Betzold describes in his book Appointment with Doctor Death, 18 canvases that "are as bold and strident, as critical and unforgiving, as pointed and dramatic as Kevorkian's own fighting words. They are strikingly well-executed, stark and surreal --and frightening, demented and/or hilarious, depending on one's point of view."

Mayer Morganroth was Kevorkian’s attorney and is executor of his estate. He says in addition to the paintings, several other items will be up for sale:

"Some of his writings, and letters received from Kurt Vonnegut, and letters he sent to the Supreme Court and so on and so forth."

Some of Kevorkian’s clothes will also be on sale including the tuxedo he wore to the Emmy Awards.

Proceeds from the auction will go to Kevorkian’s niece, who lives in Troy. A charity called Kicking Cancer for Kids will also receive some of money.


Jennifer is a reporter for Michigan Radio's State of Opportunity project, which looks at kids from low-income families and what it takes to get them ahead. She previously covered arts and culture for the station, and was one of the lead reporters on the award-winning education series Rebuilding Detroit Schools. Prior to working at Michigan Radio, Jennifer lived in New York where she was a producer at WFUV, an NPR station in the Bronx.
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