Sotheby’s exhibits huge Taubman collection prior to sales

25 Oct 2015 | Author: | No comments yet »

Elite art collector’s vast trove could fetch $500M at auction.

The history-spanning art collection of the late billionaire A. The father of a woman accused of crashing her car into the crowd attending the Oklahoma State homecoming parade says he can’t believe his daughter could have done it.OKLAHOMA CITY – Hospital officials say a two-year-old has become the fourth person to die after a woman suspected of driving under the influence plowed into an Oklahoma State University homecoming parade crowd. Police have said a car driven by 25-year-old Adacia Chambers struck an unoccupied motorcycle of an officer working security at the parade Saturday in Stillwater. In advance of a series of sales of his 500-piece collection — believed to be worth more than $500 million — Sotheby’s has transformed its building inside and out to give a real sense of its depth and scope.

A football stadium crowd has observed a moment of silence for the victims of a fatal crash hours earlier at Oklahoma State’s annual homecoming parade. The names of Willem de Kooning, Pablo Picasso, Mark Rothko, Alberto Giacometti and others are splashed across the surface in blue lettering reminiscent of the Viennese Succession-style Taubman cherished. The flag was lowered to half-staff at Boone Pickens Stadium Saturday afternoon before kickoff of the No. 14 Cowboys’ homecoming game against Kansas.

Artworks are arranged not by period but more as they might have hung in Taubman’s numerous homes, in Manhattan; Detroit; Palm Beach, Fla.; and Southampton, N.Y. “What I would like people to come and see and walk away with is that there is no categorical segmentation of great art,” said Alex Rotter, Sotheby’s co-head of contemporary art. If it fetches its estimated $500 million haul, it would be the most valuable private collection sold at auction, rivaling the $477 million sale of designer Yves Saint Laurent’s estate at Christie’s in Paris in 2009. “There is something in this sale that almost any serious collector would want,” said Sarah Lichtman, assistant professor of design history at Parsons School of Design. “It is like a veritable stroll through an art history textbook.” Taubman, who died in April at age 91, was a Detroit-based shopping-mall magnate who purchased Sotheby’s in 1983. He is credited with transforming Sotheby’s into a global powerhouse, but his reputation was tarnished in 2001 when he was convicted in a price-fixing scandal that embroiled the auction house.

On Nov. 18, works of American art go on the auction block, including a large landscape by Martin Johnson Heade, “The Great Florida Sunset,” painted in 1887.

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