7 New York Real Estate Moguls Who Are Addicted to Art and the Trophies They Buy

Aby Rosen.

It should come as no surprise that the same millionaires and billionaires who are known for snapping up real estate around New York City are also the owners of ever-expanding art collections.

Real estate news blog the Real Deal has profiled seven local moguls—Harry Macklowe (400 Madison Avenue, 540 Madison Avenue), Sheldon Solow (9 West 57th Street), Jerry Speyer (Rockefeller Center, Chrysler Building), Edward Minskoff (101 Warren Street, World Financial Center), Daniel Brodsky (Metropolitan Museum of Art chairman), Francis Greenburger (CEO of Time Equities), and of course, Aby Rosen.

“Whatever the particular occupation may be, the collector becomes something of an addict,” critic Judd Tully told the Real Deal.

Edward Minskoff.

Edward Minskoff.

Here are a few revelations from the article:

    • While his wife Linda is “obsessed” with collecting art, Harry Macklowe enjoys it mostly for the sport. “Harry loves [bidding at auction] for the theater, for the social aspects, ’cause everybody’s there. And he likes to be seen out,” said an anonymous art advisor in the book The Liar’s Ball.
Harry Macklowe. Photo: Patrick McMullan.

Harry Macklowe.
Photo: Patrick McMullan.

    • Sheldon Solow, who is married to sculptor Mia Fonssagrives-Solow (who is also Irving Penn‘s stepdaughter), has sold a portion of his collection of postwar modern art in recent years, reportedly in order to “finance real estate and pay off debts.”
    • Aby Rosen—whom Tully refers to as “the czar of art acquisitions”—purchased his first artwork when he was just 11 years old. It was a Robert Mapplethorpe photograph, and his father loaned him $200 to make the purchase.
Andy Warhol, Marlon (1966).

Andy Warhol, Marlon (1966).

    • Edward Minskoff has so much artwork, he’s lost count. In a 2008 interview, Minskoff estimated his collection held at least 500 artworks, but he no longer claims to know.
    • Minskoff still regrets letting a 1966 Warhol “Marlon” silkscreen slip away in 1990. He offered $1 million for it—which, at the time, was a solid offer—but thanks to an art dealer who he claims misrepresented the situation, he didn’t walk away with the piece (which last sold at Christie’s in 2012 for $23.7 million). “Then again, if you don’t have it, you can’t miss it,” he says.
Daniel and Estrellita Brodsky. Photo: Leandro Justen/Patrick McMullan

Daniel and Estrellita Brodsky.
Photo: Leandro Justen/Patrick McMullan

  • In the case of the Brodskys, the Macklowes, and the Minskoffs, their better halves appear to be the brains behind the bulk of their art acquisitions.
  • Both Brodsky’s and Minskoff’s mothers were artists.

Related stories:

The 6 Best Quotes from Aby Rosen’s New Yorker Profile

Aby Rosen Pays $55 Million for Gilded Age Building Artist Jay Maisel Bought for $102,000 Around 1966

Vito Schnabel Introduced Aby Rosen to Restaurateurs Taking Over Four Seasons

Top Collector Aby Rosen Talks Wining and Dining with the FT

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