Many believe there is no guaranteed income in art. However, many statistics say otherwise. In fact, in 2021, the online art market was valued at $13.3 billion, establishing it as a profitable and viable industry. The highest proportion belongs to private collectors, accounting for 53% of all sales. This just shows that the art collection is a thriving sector. Five of its top players own assets amounting to over $11 billion. Let’s learn which art collections are the most extravagant and valuable and discover why collecting art can be a good investment.
David Geffen Collection
David Geffen is known for making the most significant donation to the Los Angeles County Museum of Art. He has pledged $150 million to the institution since 2017. Geffen’s first job was in the mailroom of a talent agency, William Morris. Today, he has founded Geffen Records, Asylum Records, and DreamWorks Animations.
Geffen’s collection is heavily loaded with mid century art, particularly American artists. He is famous for his collection of Willem de Kooning, Jasper Johns, Rothko, and Jackson Pollock, among many other renowned American artists.
For $277 million, he put two of his most valuable pieces for sale, Willem de Kooning’s Woman III and Jackson Pollock’s Number 5. Besides his impressive art collection, Geffen owns a house in the Hamptons, one of NYC’s most expensive apartments, and once owned the Jack L. Warner estate in Beverly Hills until Jeff Bezos bought it for a record deal of $165 million.
In addition, Geffen is known for buying the world’s most valuable life insurance policy at $100 million in 1990. He is that Hollywood mogul that insurance companies would eagerly pursue to provide health insurance online quotes.
Ezra and David Nahmad Collection
Ezra Nahmad and David Nahmad are megadealer siblings who own plenty of modern and impressionist art. They store these valuables in a duty-free warehouse in Geneva, Switzerland. They have collected around 4,500 to 5,000 art pieces that cost roughly $3 to $4 billion.
Chairman of Christie’s New York referred to them as collectors who have “sold more art than anybody alive.” They have a pretty straightforward strategy: buy, hold, and sell. Their collection includes pieces from blue chip artists like Matisse, Monet, Rothko, and Renoir. They also possess 300 Picassos, valued at at least $1 billion. They have the most extensive collection of Picasso’s art pieces in the world.
Eli and Edythe Broad Collection
Eli and Edythe Broad own a vast collection of contemporary art made by reputable artists like Edward Ruscha, Robert Rauschenberg, Damien Hirst, Andy Warhol, Joseph Beuys, Jasper Johns, Cy Twombly, Cindy Sherman, and Roy Lichtenstein. The couple has nearly 2,000 pieces. Most of the collection is publicly displayed in LA’s The Broad Museum. With 200 artists, the Broads hold the world’s most significant post-war and contemporary art collections.
Eli Broad was initially fascinated by art when he bought Van Gogh’s Cabanes, a Saintes-Maries drawing, in 1973. Afterward, he purchased a few other pieces by Picasso, Matisse, and Miró, among other renowned artists.
Additionally, Broad is among the billionaires who are a member of The Giving Pledge. His personal pledge is to give away 75% of his fortunes.
Philip Niarchos Collection
The Niarchos art collection includes an extensive number of modern and impressionist art. Philip Niarchos, the family’s eldest son, inherited the collection and added more post-war and contemporary works. He gathered additional pieces from Andy Warhol and Maurizio Cattelan to establish his collection further. Jean-Michel Basquiat’s self-portrait is arguably one of the most exciting additions he has made to his father’s original collection.
The Niarchos art collection also has the world’s largest private stockpile of works by Van Gogh, Paul Gauguin’s Riders on the Beach and Yo, Picasso, and El Greco’s Pietá.
Francois Pinault Collection
Pinault has racked up 2,500 modern and contemporary art pieces in his 30 years of art collecting experience. This French billionaire has one of the most fascinating collections of art pieces made by Lucio Fontana, Damien Hirst, Jeff Koons, and Mark Rothko. His collection is estimated at around $1.4 billion.
His very first art purchase was the Tableau Losangique II by Mondrian, and since then, he has committed himself to sharing his collection with the public. His collection is available for viewing at the Palazzo Grassi and Punta della Dogana in Venice. He opened his third private museum, Bourse de Commerce, in mid-May 2021 in France.
Besides being an art collection, Pinault is also the honorary chairman of Kering, the luxury group that owns Alexander McQueen, Gucci, and Saint Laurent fashion brands.
Art collectors have different motivations for gathering up pieces of art. It could be for the thrill of the hunt, to express themselves, connect with fellow art enthusiasts, or support valuable causes like making art more accessible. Regardless of these varying reasons, art collections share a common goal: to make sure the art pieces are properly cared for, protected, and managed in a safe and secure place, allowing more generations to look through history through the lens of art.
Be the first to leave a review.