Over $1.5 Billion Raised at Record-Breaking Art Auction Benefiting Paul Allen’s Collection
On Wednesday night at Christie’s New York, the art collection of Paul Allen, the late co-founder of Microsoft, sold for over $1.5 billion, making it the most valuable single-owner art collection ever sold at auction.
To put the magnitude of this first of two charity auctions of Allen’s artwork into perspective, earlier this year, real estate magnate Harry Macklowe and his ex-spouse Linda Macklowe sold off a private art collection for a record $922 million.
The auction prices for some pieces from Allen’s collection broke previous records for the respective artists. The most expensive piece of art sold at this auction was Georges Seurat’s Les Poseuses Ensemble, which sold for $149.24 million. La Montagne Sainte-Victoire by Paul Cézanne went for $137.8 million, while Verger avec cyprès by Vincent van Gogh brought in $117.2 million and Maternité II by Paul Gauguin brought in $105.7 million.
More than 150 artworks spanning many centuries and decades were amassed by Allen, who will auction off the majority of his collection on Thursday. After leaving Microsoft in 1983, Allen pursued his other love as a major art collector, adding to his already impressive resume of accomplishments in the fields of technology and philanthropy. Allen passed away from non-lymphoma Hodgkin’s in 2018. He was 65 years old.
Renoir and Monet are only two of the artists whose works can be found in Allen’s extensive collection, which also features works by Picasso, Botticelli, Jan Brueghel, and modern masters like Roy Lichtenstein, Edward Hopper, and David Hockney.
In keeping with Allen’s desires, all of the money made from the sale will be donated to a good cause. He gave about $2 billion to charity during his lifetime.