As reported earlier in November, Hal Kant served as the lawyer for a number of iconic musicians from the 60’s and beyond, including the Grateful Dead, Janis Joplin, and Sonny and Cher. Kant helped the Grateful Dead keep the band’s copyrights and is partially responsible for the iconic ice cream flavor Cherry Garcia—the lawyer introduced Jerry Garcia to the makers of Ben and Jerry’s ice cream. Following Kant’s in 2008, his widow, Jesse Kant, will be auctioning off a lot of the lawyer’s Grateful Dead memorabilia via the Reno, Nevada-based art gallery and auction house Stremmel Auctions. According to the Reno Gazette-Journal, the lot of items could sell for as much as $100,000. The Grateful Dead auction has been running since November 22nd, with the auction ending on Saturday, December 9th at 10 a.m. (PST).
Kant’s Grateful Dead auction lot includes over one hundred items—a psychedelic set of stage banners created by artist Jan Sawka that were used as the backdrops for 88 Grateful Dead shows. The auction also includes backstage passes from over thirty years, artwork signed by the late Jerry Garcia, and a poster for a 1968 Lake Tahoe show that flaunts that door ticket prices were $3.50. Jesse Kant will also be auctioning off more personal effects that highlight the close relationship between her family and the Garcias. While she will be keeping a number of letters from the band, Kant has also included for sale an invitation to Garcia and Deborah Koons’ wedding as well as “a framed, dried rose from the couple’s wedding the year before his 1995 death.” She also has planned to sell her “living room replica of the Dead’s conference table, complete with hand-carved skulls and ornate ‘GD’ signatures on each chair.”
However, in keeping with the spirit of the Grateful Dead, Jesse Kant plans to use some of the funds to give back. In an email, the charitable aspect of the auction to benefit the Rex Foundation was explained:
In the spirit of the generosity that Hal, Jerry, and the Grateful Dead were known for – we’ll be making a donation to the Rex Foundation at the end of the auction as a gift from Dr. Jesse Kant, the estate of Hal Kant, and Stremmel Auctions. Hal served on the board of the Rex Foundation from its start back in 1983 until he passed away in 2008. The Rex Foundation was established as a non-profit charitable organization, allowing the band to proactively support creative endeavors in the arts, sciences, and education. Despite Jerry’s passing in 1995 the Rex Foundation continues to make grants funded by the very elements that hold our community together: music, connection, fun, creativity and community spirit. Since 1984 the Rex Foundation has granted $8.9 million to over 1,200 recipients. For more information please visit http://www.rexfoundation.org. From a family near and dear to The Grateful Dead, Stremmel Auctions is proud to offer the auction: A Collection of The Grateful Dead and artist Jan Sawka.
You can read a post by the banner artist Jan Sawka below, which elucidates the importance of the art she created for the Grateful Dead that’s going up for sale, as well as a video further showing the items up for sale. To bid on the auction, you can check out the Stremmel Auctions site here.
Grateful Dead Auction Lot