During the last six decades the late A. Alfred Taubman fulfilled the role of a big businessman, philanthropist, former owner of Sotheby’s and boundless art collector. He paired his masterpieces from different centuries unusually, letting them bathe in each other’s aura. He also endured a very scandalous period, in 2002 he was convicted in a price fixing scheme involving not only Sotheby’s, but also the Koenig of all auction houses; Christie’s. It resulted in nine and a half months in prison and a fine of USD 7.5 million.
For this sentimental auction, Sotheby’s has assembled one of the greatest collections of art in private hands. Encompassing more than 500 works; that span from antiquity to contemporary art.
Lets talk about money now.
This is a special zeitgeist in contemporary time, as Sotheby’s is trying very hard to reach Christie’s “Looking forward to the past” standards, that reached USD 705,858,000 (remember last May when Picasso’s Le femmes d’Alger sold for USD 179,365,000? It did not only break the record for most expensive painting, but also resulted in the third highest auction sale of all time) … well Taubman’s auction sale is expected to fetch half a billion dollars (!), let’s see how high it will go.
The exhibition is on view in New York, from October 30th through November 4th. This is the first and only time that Taubman’s accomplishment as a collector can be seen by the public, before someone raises her well-polished (probably gloved) hand, or his hand, and the piece disappears for almost ever…
A “monkeys do, what monkeys see” moment; Gabriel Cornelius von Max
This tiny; Ambrosius Benson
Madonna and Child, which was already sold by Sotheby’s this January for USD 425,000.-
Lets see if after 10 months it will get better luck…
All imagery: Dimitria Markou