500-piece art collection, estimated to be worth more than $500 million, belong to Sotheby’s auction house late former owner A. Alfred Taubman, will be auctioned early in November.
Beginning Friday, Sotheby’s New York is holding its preview exhibition for four days only, from Saturday through Tuesday, goes on sale November 4, kicking off two weeks of blockbuster sales at Christie’s and Sotheby’s.
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Three hundred of the works fill the lobby and the entire 10th floor of the building. The lineup features names of Willem de Kooning, Pablo Picasso, Mark Rothko, Alberto Giacometti, Amedeo Modigliani, with price tags run $25–$35 million.
If it reaches its estimated $500 million trophy, it would be the most valuable private collection sold at auction, vying the $477 million sale of designer Yves Saint Laurent’s estate at Christie’s in Paris in 2009.
Adolph Alfred Taubman, a Jewish-American real estate developer and philanthropist, became a billionaire by building shopping mall. In 1983 he accquired Sotheby’s and transformed it into a global powerhouse. His reputation was stained in 2001 when he was convicted in a price-fixing scandal that entangle the auction house. He spent nine months in prison.
But he is credited with founding of the Smithsonian’s Archives of American Art and a board member of the Whitney Museum of American Art.
He died in April 2015 at age 91.
Sotheby’s said proceeds from the sale would be used to settle his estate’s tax obligations and fund a foundation.
The sale begins with the most valuable pieces including de Kooning’s richly colored “Untitled XXI, ” estimated to sell for $25 million to $35 million; Amedeo Modigliani’s “Paulette Jourdain, ” with a pre-sale estimate of more than $25 million; and Picasso’s “Woman Seated on a Chair, ” a portrait of his lover and muse Dora Maar painted in 1938, which could bring up to $35 million.
Frank Stella’s “Delaware Crossing, ” estimated at $8 million to $12 million, could set a record for the artist.
Nov. 5 sale continues with modern and contemporary art by Henri Matisse, Wassily Kandinsky, Egon Schiele and others.
On Nov. 18, works of American art go on the auction block, including a large landscape by Martin Johnson Heade, “The Great Florida Sunset, ” painted in 1887.
The Jan. 27 sale include Raphael’s “Portrait of Valerio Belli, Facing Left” and Thomas Gainsborough’s “The Blue Page.”