Collector Buys 'Sybil' Paintings
Jan. 16, 1999
NEW YORK (AP) _ Thirty stark watercolors painted by the woman believed to be ``Sybil'' _ the subject of a best-selling book and TV movie about a woman with multiple personalities _ sold for at least $30,000 at an art show Saturday.
Shirley Ardell Mason, believed by her psychiatrist to have had 16 personalities, was a trained artist who painted throughout her life. She died in February 1998 in Lexington, Ky., at age 75.
A collector from Leawood, Kan., who did not want to be identified, bought the paintings, said Rod Lich, the dealer of the paintings
Lich would not disclose how much each of the paintings sold for, but said the buyer had paid the asking amount of between $1,000 and $3,500 for each of the 30 paintings, putting the total between $30,000 and $105,000.
``Most of the interest is in the fact that it's 'Sybil,''' said Lich, a folk art specialist from Georgetown, Ind. ``It's not New York City high-style art.''
Prospective buyers had also called from Los Angeles and Arizona, though few who came to the show Saturday came away impressed.
The pseudonym given the psychiatric patient in Flora Rheta Schreiber's 1973 book ``Sybil'' was Sybil Isabel Dorsett. Mason has long been suspected of being ``Sybil.''