Jane Russell “Outlaw” Art by Zoë Mozert Coming Up For Auction

Zoe Mozert painting of Jane Russell

This afternoon, I received a postcard in the mail about an upcoming Profiles in History auction featuring personally owned Howard Hughes items. It’s a rather mind blowing assortment of objects, including love letters from Katharine Hepburn and Joan Fontaine, contracts for Jean Harlow, Ben Hecht, Paul Muni, and Howard Hawks, among others (alas, no Ann Dvorak as far as I can tell), and even the desk that once belonged to Hughes’ dad. Also up for auction is the original painting used in magazine ads for The Outlaw which made the infamous inquiry, “How would you like to tussle with Russell?”

Zoe Mozert paints Jane Russell

It’s a large format painting, measuring 50″ on the long side and is absolutely stunning. Jane Russell seems to have been one of Hughes’ favorite contract players (so much so, he paid her nearly $1,000 a week for years after they both stopped making movies), so it’s telling that this is a piece he held onto. In addition to it being associated with Hughes, Russell, and The Outlaw, add illustrator Zoë Mozert to the mix and the estimate on this one is $20-30,000.

Tussle with Russell ad

With the interest in Howard Hughes still running strong, I’ll be sitting this one out. I hope the painting and some of the contracts and letters end up at an archive for us faithful researchers to access! Full auction details are over at the Profiles in History site.

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