Truman Capote’s swans: inside the glamorous collections

One would be hard pressed to find a more glamorous era than New York City during the 1950s and 1960s, the backdrop of Feud: Capote vs. The Swans, the latest television series from Ryan Murphy, Jaffe Cohen and Michael Zam. The Gus Van Sant-directed show, which premiered on FX in January, follows the complex relationships of the revered writer Truman Capote and his high-society ‘swans,’ as he called them, who represented some of America’s most powerful and affluent women.

With an all-star cast, including Naomi Watts as Babe Paley, Diane Lane as Slim Keith and Chloë Sevigny as C. Z. Guest, the story is as dramatic as it is amusing, heart-breaking as it is riotous. Amidst the betrayal and scandal, one thing is undeniable: the characters’ utter glamour.

Over the years, Christie’s has had the pleasure of selling art, furniture, jewellery and other treasures belonging to the swans and more creatives in their orbit, with highlights including The Collection of Lee Bouvier Radziwill in 2019 and property from the Collection of Winston F.C. and C.Z. Guest in 2021. Ahead of the Feud finale on 13 March, we look back at some of the most memorable art and objects, each of which exudes the rarefied swan style that has forever cemented these figures in society and collecting history.

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