Art: Mr. Crowinshield Unloads

"It would make a frightful mess if I died and left all this stuff for other people to take care of."

Last week 71-year-old Frank Crowninshield, the dapper, white-haired fine arts editor of Vogue, who once wrote an article entitled "Ten Thousand Nights in a Dinner Coat," sold at auction his influential collection of modern, mostly French art. The 1019 items offered at Manhattan's Parke-Bernet Galleries put a total of $181,747 into "Crownie's" elegantly tailored pocket and the event itself had the quality of social luster, with a note of high gaga, which he...