Today I read a blog post and it reminded me of one of my dad’s past clients. He was rather wealthy (and that’s probably an understatement) and had a large collection of Picasso’s and artwork from many other famous artists.
So, I googled his name to see what info I could find. (He had died in 1987). It was really fascinating. I knew that he was a big art collector. What I didn’t realize is that he was the original owner of Le Reve. This is one of Picasso’s most famous works of art. On this site, it’s rated as his 4th most famous painting. Apparently he bought it for just $7,000 in 1941! Wow. It looks like after he and his wife died, the estate auctioned it off in 1997 for $48 million. Wow.
Apparently he and his wife had a passion for spotting talented artists before they became grand masters. He also had paintings from Jasper Johns, Rauschenberg and Frank Stella. At the time, their auction (after their deaths) resulted in the highest ever private auction (at that time…and I believe now 3rd in total). Wow.
They truly had a knack for selecting fine art and spotting talent! I wish I had gotten to meet them.
It’s interesting because recently I did an epic article on Selling an Inherited House to settle an estate, and in the process of my research, I interviewed my dad (who was an estate attorney) to get his perspective and advice. He had a lot of value to add on the process and some of the basics.
He also explained that often when there are large estates, the real estate and/or the artwork values can be rather high and in order to pay for the estate taxes (for high worth individuals), many need to sell the house and auction some of the artwork off quickly to pay off the taxes.
This would be one of those examples…as the artwork appreciated sooooo much.