The Top 10 Uber-Rich Art Collectors

artnet News presents the top of the top in art collecting.


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Jennifer Rubell, Don Rubell, and Mera Rubell.Photo via: The Miami Art Scene.
Amanda Fuhrman and Glen Fuhrman.
Photo: Paul Porter via
Sheikha Mayassa Al-Thani.
Photo: Brigitte Lacombe via DFI.
Eli Broad.
Photo: Martin Schoeller via/ The New Yorker.
Rosa de la Cruz.
Photo via: The Collector Tribune.
Patricia Phelps de Cisneros.
Photo: Patrick McMullan,
Jennifer Rubell, Don Rubell, and Mera Rubell.Photo via: The Miami Art Scene.
Jennifer Rubell, Don Rubell, and Mera Rubell.
Photo via: The Miami Art Scene.
Steven A. Cohen.
Photo via: The Observer .

The past two weeks of major fall auctions proved once again that there is no shortage of global hunger for blue chip masterpieces—be they classic Manet portraits, powerful Abstract Expressionist paintings or massive, shiny Jeff Koons animals. Sotheby’s pulled in $343.3 million for its evening contemporary sale and Christie’s smashed the record for the highest ever auction on Wednesday night, November 12, with an $853 million total for 80 works on offer. Auction specialists say they have watched the ranks of top collectors growing in the United States and Europe and also in countries like Brazil and China, where booming economies have produced many newly wealthy buyers eager to collect art. These so-called “trophy hunters” are the collectors who are driving the top end of the market—the number of $10 and $20-million lots sold this season is unprecedented—and who are determined to own the best of the best. Here are some of the most active and wealthy buyers in the art market today.

1. Andy Hall
A former Citigroup Inc. oil trader, Andy Hall is currently chief executive officer of Astenbeck Capital Management. The 63-year-old has built an extensive modern art collection and, in 2012, opened the Hall Art Foundation, an appointment-only art museum in Vermont. The Foundation has formed an exhibition partnership with the Massachusetts Museum of Contemporary Art, in North Adams, Massachusetts, to present a long-term installation devoted to the art of Anselm Kiefer, and with the Ashmolean Museum in Oxford, England, to present a series of exhibitions of contemporary and postwar art. The museum holdings included 5,000 postwar and contemporary works by artists such as Richard Artschwager, Georg Baselitz, Joseph Beuys, Eric Fischl, Jörg Immendorff, Malcolm Morley, A. R. Penck, Ed Ruscha, Andy Warhol, and Franz West.

2. Glenn Fuhrman
Glenn Fuhrman is the hedge fund manager of MSD capital. According to Forbes, he was an art history major, and remains a keen collector of art. He also serves on the board of MoMA’s junior associates, is trustee of Tate Americas Foundation, is a board member of the Institute of Contemporary Art in Philadelphia, and is founder of the FLAG Art Foundation in New York. He opened a gallery in Chelsea to display works from private collections, including his own. Business Insider lists him among the 25 most serious Wall Street Collectors, and, alongside his wife he was named in ARTnews’ 200 Top Collectors.

3. Sheikha Mayassa Al-Thani
Sheikha Mayassa Al-Thani is described by Forbes as the “undisputed queen of the art world.” As chair of Qatar Museums, which houses the country’s art collection and museum landscape, Sheikha Mayassa Al-Thani has overseen the purchase of works by Damien Hirst, Andy Warhol and Mark Rothko (see: “What Are The Top 10 Al-Thani Family Art Acquisitions?“). In 2013 she was placed at the top of ArtReview‘s Power 100 List and, according to them, her organization’s spending reaches a rate of $1 billion per year. In 2014, she was named on artnet News’ The 100 Most Powerful Women in Art (see: “The 100 Most Powerful Women in Art: Part One“).

4. Leon Black
Black is the owner of the private equity firm Apollo Global Management and was last year’s highest paid private equity executive. According to Forbes, he has a net worth of $5.1 billion. Perhaps thanks to genes (his mother was an artist, his aunt an art collector) he has formed a vast art collection. In 2012 Black paid $120 million for Edvard Munch’s The Scream and, in 2013, $48 million for a drawing by Raphael.

5. Eli Broad
Described by The New Yorker as “the Lorenzo de’ Medici of Los Angeles,” Eli Broad has a net worth of $7.2 billion. He and his wife created the Broad Art Foundation in 1984, which now owns more than $2.2 billion worth of art which it lends to institutions around the world. In 2015, the couple is set to open The Broad, a new contemporary art museum in Los Angeles. According to The Art Newspaper, The Broad museum will cost around $140 million.

6. Charles Saatchi
Saatchi is a 71-year-old millionaire and art dealer with an estimated wealth of $192 million. In 1970, he cofounded advertising firm Saatchi & Saatchi with his brother Maurice. As an avid art collector, he went on to found the Saatchi Gallery in London in 1985. During the 1990s, he pioneered the development of the Young British Artists (YBAs) and his “Sensation” exhibition, which exhibited works of artists such as Damien Hirst, Tracey Emin, and Chris Ofili, generated controversy across the globe. 

7. Rosa de la Cruz
Rosa de la Cruz is a Cuban-born art collector. In 2009, she and her husband Carlos de la Cruz opened the de la Cruz Collection Contemporary Art Space in Miami’s Design District. The 30,000-square foot private museum was designed by John Marquette. The museum serves as an extension to the de la Cruzes home, which has also been periodically open to the public. Rosa de la Cruz told Florida Design: “Many visitors are surprised that my husband, Carlos, and I live in a house that looks like a museum.”

8. Patricia Phelps de Cisneros
Patricia and her husband Gustavo Cisneros began collecting Latin American art together after they were married. In the 1970s, she and Gustavo founded the New York City and Caracas-based Fundación Cisneros, a philanthropic organization. Their art collection has expanded to include more than 2,000 pieces and reflects her upbringing among Spanish Colonial Art. Since 1992, she has been a Trustee of MoMA, and is a founding member and chair of its Latin American and Caribbean Fund. In 2014 she was featured in artnet News’ The 100 Most Powerful Women in Art (see: “The 100 Most Powerful Women in Art, Part Three“).

9. The Rubell Family
The Rubell Family Foundation was established in 1964 in New York by Donald and Mera Rubell, who are fixtures in the front row at every major contemporary art auction in New York. Their collection includes works by Keith Haring, Damien Hirst, Jeff Koons, Cindy Sherman, Kara Walker, and Andy Warhol. It is said to be one of the world’s largest privately owned contemporary art foundations and has already hosted 20 exhibitions. In addition to owning an enormous art collection, the couple’s daughter, Jennifer Rubell, produces art herself. Both Mera Rubell and her daughter were recently honored for their contemporary art collection at the Brooklyn Art Museum. The Rubells’ upcoming exhibition is called To Have and to Hold, and will be open from December 3 until August 1, 2015. It celebrates their 50-year marriage and their 20th anniversary of collecting contemporary art.

10. Steven A. Cohen
Former hedge fund manager Steven A. Cohen frequently appears on ARTnews‘ annual list of the Top 200 Collectors in the world. According to Forbes, he is worth $9.3 billion (his Impressionist and contemporary art collection alone is worth an estimated $1 billion). In 2006 he paid $137.5 million for Willem de Kooning’s Woman III (1952), and in 2013 he bought Picasso’s Le Rêve for $155 million. Cohen was reportedly the consignor of Franz Kline’s King Oliver (1958), which sold for $26.5 million at Christie’s record-setting November 12 evening sale


Additional research and reporting was contributed by Laura Lesmoir-Gordon and Katharina Wenzel.

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