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Sotheby’s Auctions A. Alfred Taubman Collection

September 5, 2015

Arts | by Courtney Blackman


A. Alfred Taubman at London's Sotheby’s in the 1980s. Photograph by Paul Armiger/Camera Press
A. Alfred Taubman at London’s Sotheby’s in the 1980s. Photograph by Paul Armiger/Camera Press

One of the most valuable art collections in the world is to go under the hammer. A. Alfred Taubman, the billionaire and notorious former owner of Sotheby’s, amassed a collection with an estimated worth of more than $500 million (£328 million). The collection, which is go on sale later this year, is comprised of more than 500 works from Pablo Picasso, Jackson Pollock, Jasper Johns, Amedeo Modigliani and Thomas Gainsborough.

Works by Amedeo Modigliani, Pablo Picasso and Thomas Gainsborough - Sotheby's
Works by Amedeo Modigliani, Pablo Picasso and Thomas Gainsborough – Sotheby’s

The American philanthropist and property developer purchased Sotheby’s in 1983, and in the 1990’s incited scandal in the art world for conspiring with his counterpart at Christie’s to fix commissions on sales to the sum of an estimated $400 million (£262.7 million). He later served ten months in jail after having been found guilty in 2001.

The auction will take place later this year with earnings said to go towards the A. Alfred Taubman Foundation and taxes on his estate.

Words by Courtney Blackman