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More than 560 lots from the estate of the well-known New York collector valued at around $4.5m will be offered through two live auctions on September 26 and 27, alongside an online-only auction.

Walter (1935-2017) was part of a small group of New York photography collectors led by connoisseur and dealer Daniel Wolf. 

The lots coming to auction are objects he collected that filled his luxurious Manhattan and Hamptons homes.

They include works on paper by post-war and contemporary artists Brice Marden, Sol LeWitt and Agnes Martin; early photography by Captain Linnaeus Tripe, Edward Steichen and Man Ray; prints by James Abbott McNeill Whistler and Lucian Freud; and a diverse group of works in various media by friends and contemporaries Robert Mapplethorpe, Billy Sullivan, Robert Wilson and Ralph Humphrey. 

Walter’s parents, Fred and Anna Walter, co-founded industrial instruments firm Thermo Electric and he inherited the position of chief executive in 1968.

As an art patron he was particularly fond of travelling and was well-known in the European antiques market.

His mother was a benefactor of the Morgan Library and Museum and the Los Angeles County Museum of Art and she instilled in her son a love of culture that would lead him to study art history at Oberlin College, in Ohio, and Columbia University. 

“I don’t think you learn anything unless you buy,” is one of a number of quotes attributed to the collector.