That Was Fast: A Week and a Half After Its Private Sale Was Announced, the Marron Collection Has Already Netted $300 Million

A $70 million Rothko sale followed two Picassos for $105 million

From left to right: Arne Glimcher, Bill Acquavella, Larry Gagosian, and Marc Glimcher ©Axel Depuex
From left to right: Arne Glimcher, Bill Acquavella, Larry Gagosian, and Marc Glimcher ©Axel Depuex

Sales from the storied collection of late philanthropist and finance titan Donald Marron were expected to be robust, following last week’s announcement that a trio of powerhouse New York galleries—Pace, Gagosian, and Acquavella—are handling the collection privately, rather than it being sent to the auction block. But the rate of sales in less than a week has already been nothing short of astonishing.

While a marquee auction would have brought its own fanfare and extreme marketing efforts, the family and consulting fiduciaries went with an unprecedented joint-gallery option, and secured a guarantee that sources said was above Christie’s and Sotheby’s pitches. (Numbers of between $300 million and $330 million were floated by the auction houses, according to sources.)

Pablo PIcasso, <i>Femme assise (Jacqueline)</i> (1962). © Estate of Pablo Picasso / Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York Courtesy the Donald B. Marron Family Collection, Acquavella Galleries, Gagosian, and Pace Gallery,

Pablo Picasso, Seated Woman (Jacqueline) (1962). © Estate of Pablo Picasso / Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York Courtesy the Donald B. Marron Family Collection, Acquavella Galleries, Gagosian, and Pace Gallery,

The unconventional choice seems to have paid off. Sales appear to be happening at a fast and furious pace ahead of a May exhibition planned across Pace and Gagosian’s gallery spaces in Chelsea. Earlier this week, on February 24, the Wall Street Journal‘s Kelly Crow reported that casino mogul (and accused sexual harasser) Steve Wynn had shelled out $105 million for two Picasso works from the Marron collection. Woman with Beret and Collar (1937), a portrait of the artist’s mistress Dora Maar, and a later, 1962 portrait of his wife Jacqueline, Seated Woman (Jacqueline), were considered “gems” of the collection, according to the WSJ.

 

Cy Twombly, <i>Camino Real</i> (2011)© Cy Twombly Foundation. Courtesy the Donald B. Marron Family Collection, Acquavella Galleries, Gagosian, and Pace Gallery

Cy Twombly, Camino Real (2011) © Cy Twombly Foundation. Courtesy the Donald B. Marron Family Collection, Acquavella Galleries, Gagosian, and Pace Gallery

Meanwhile, new reporting today from Katya Kazakina in Bloomberg brings the total reported sales from the collection to $300 million. (All of the galleries declined to comment.) Among sales to date are Mark Rothko’s No. 22 (reds) (1957), which sold for $70 million; paintings by Cy Twombly, Mark Bradford, and Gerhard Richter also found buyers.

An Asian buyer acquired a Bradford painting for $6 million, while a Richter abstract bearing a price tag of $14 million reportedly sold as well.

Last week when the news was announced, a Pace Gallery representative told Artnet News that all of the roughly 300 works are expected to be sold by the time the May exhibition in Chelsea opens.


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