WOMEN’S GOLF LEGEND HAD AN EYE FOR FRENCH BELLE ÉPOQUE PAINTERS
Merryl Israel Aron was among the top golfers of her era. She won dozens of local and regional amateur golf championships and played with famous golfers such as Ben Hogan, Jimmy Demaret, and Babe Didrikson Zaharias. During World War II, she played golf around the country with Bob Hope and Bing Crosby to sell war bonds.
“I got to know people of all ages playing golf,” she said in an oral history for her family. “It was the most gratifying life to be able to play amateur golf, not to be pressed to turn professional.”
Aron, a native of New Orleans, won a dozen city championships, the first in 1933 and the last in 1954. She claimed eight state titles and three Gulf Coast crowns. She qualified six times for the U.S. Amateur Championship.
Another significant accomplishment was her remarkable art collection, says Heritage Auctions’ Director of Appraisal Services Meredith Meuwly.
“Her stunning home in the Garden District of New Orleans was filled with lovely art and antiques that were passionately collected by the family from top New York and London art galleries,” Meuwly says. “Her elegant drawing room showcased her impeccable taste along with an impressive art collection, including multiple paintings by important French Belle Époque painters.
Pieces by Jean Béraud and Louis Marie de Schryver, from the Merryl Israel Aron Family Trust, are featured in Heritage’s European Art auction scheduled for Dec. 7, 2016.
Béraud’s Sur les Champs Élysées was completed in 1892. “As a Salon exhibited and award-winning artist,” Meuwly says, “Béraud incorporates features of the academic style alongside a loosened application of paint being pioneered by the Impressionists.”
Schryver’s Paris – La rue du Havre vividly portrays the luxury and sumptuous lifestyle of the Belle Époque through vibrant flowers and fine clothing, while also capturing the energy of Paris’ bustling streets.
Aron died in December 2015. She was 102. “As a philanthropist, collector and amateur gold champion,” Meuwly says, “Mrs. Aron was a New Orleans legend.”