Art Dealer Robert Mnuchin’s Son to Be Donald Trump’s Money Man

Steven Mnuchin is a prominent art patron.

Steven Mnuchin. Courtesy of Patrick McMullan.

Donald Trump’s rise to be inevitable Republican nominee for President of the United States has united broad swaths of public opinion in dismay and revulsion—up to and including the chairman of his own party, Paul Ryan, who publicly stated that he is “not ready” to back the reality TV show star.

Not so for Steven Mnuchin, the son of well-known art dealer Robert Mnuchin and the scion of one of art’s most powerful families. It was announced yesterday to great fanfare that Mnuchin will be Trump’s new campaign finance chair, helping move him from a “self-financed” campaign to one that taps broader layers of money.

Mnuchin is currently the CEO of Dune Capital Management, and formerly oversaw mortgage-backed securities at Goldman Sachs, “a line of business,” the LA Times dryly remarks, “that drove the world economy into crisis in 2008.”

He also has ties to the film industry. He is listed as executive producer for films including Our Brand Is Crisis, Mad Max: Fury Road, American Sniper, and The Lego Movie.

For art watchers, the Mnuchin name is also somewhat mythical, since his father runs one of New York’s most storied galleries. His eponymous Upper East Side space currently hosts a much-loved, critically acclaimed show of reclusive African-American conceptualist David Hammons.

Here’s the Wall Street Journal, explaining in 2009 the world the younger Mnuchin inhabits:

The first thing most Wall Streeters would say about [Steven] Mnuchin is that he has deal making—and a certain level of Manhattan glamor—in his blood. He is the son of former Goldman Sachs banker Robert Mnuchin, who is now a prominent player in the art world, has a regular table at upscale restaurant Cafe Boulud and runs a $1,000 a night luxury bed and breakfast, The Mayflower Inn in Connecticut, which he sold last year to a hotel chain. Steve Mnuchin’s brother is former Bear Stearns and Lehman Brothers banker Alan Mnuchin, who now runs his own advisory firm, AGM Partners. The entire family is active in New York charities; Steve Mnuchin sits on the board of the Whitney Museum, the Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden Board, Riverdale Country School and New York Presbyterian Hospital.

Though no longer, it seems, on the Whitney board, Steven continues as a prominent art patron. He currently sits on the board of LA MOCA, a position of honor that puts him in the company of art greats like Mark Bradford, Barbara Kruger, and Catherine Opie, as well as fellow art-collecting titans of industry like hedge fund kingpin Steven A. Cohen and Ukrainian billionaire Victor Pinchuk.

Those are connections, presumably, Mnuchin will bring to bear in his quest to bring us a Trump presidency. “Mnuchin said he had no experience raising money for a political campaign, but a history of doing so as part of his work on charitable boards,” the LA Times reported.

“Steven is a professional at the highest level with an extensive and very successful financial background,” Donald Trump stated in the press release announcing the appointment. “He brings unprecedented experience and expertise to a fundraising operation that will benefit the Republican Party and ultimately defeat Hillary Clinton.”

Previously, Steven Mnuchin had been a donor to Hillary Clinton, both for her Senate campaign and for her 2008 presidential run.

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