Rockefeller art treasures on auction: Picasso, Monet, more
NEW YORK — A collection of artwork put together by billionaire David Rockefeller that includes pieces from Pablo Picasso, Claude Monet and Georgia O’Keeffe is going up for auction.
Christie’s says the sale starting Tuesday could bring in more than $500 million, which will be distributed to a number of philanthropies Rockefeller and his wife, Peggy, supported in their lifetimes.
Rockefeller was the last surviving grandson of Standard Oil founder John D. Rockefeller when he died in March 2017 at the age of 101.
He and Peggy had been married for more than 50 years. She died in 1996.
The couple amassed a massive collection of art, furniture, ceramics, statuary and decor. The collection also includes items that were passed down from previous Rockefeller generations.
At previews for the auction, Christie’s auctioneers said some of the pieces could sell at record-setting prices for the individual artists’ works.
Tuesday’s evening sale focuses on 19th- and 20th-century art, and also includes works from Paul Gauguin and Henri Matisse.
Art of the Americas will go on the block on Wednesday night. It includes works from Willem de Kooning, Edward Hopper and John Singer Sargent.
Other sale sessions at Christie’s will focus on furniture, ceramics and decorations, while an online auction will offer personal mementos, lamps and lighting and tableware.
Among the high-profile items? A porcelain dessert service that Napoleon took with him into exile. MKH
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