Microsoft Co-Founder Paul Allen’s Art Collection Expected To Sell For USD 1 Billion At Auction

Paul Allen Art Collection
Paul Allen Art Collection

Auction house Christie’s is set to sell a massive art collection of late Microsoft co-founder Paul Allen for over two days at the Rockefeller Centre in New York City, the US.

The private art collection, titled Visionary: The Paul G. Allen Collection, is valued at over USD 1 billion and will go under the hammer on 9 and 10 November 2022.

According to the auction house, it is “poised to be the largest and most exceptional art auction in history.” If it realises its expected value, the auction would eclipse the USD 922 million sale of the Macklowe collection in May 2022.

Details about Visionary: The Paul G. Allen Collection

Over 150 artworks by world’s greatest masters

The Paul Allen art collection on sale contains over 150 masterpieces. These include Gustav Klimt’s 1903 work Birch Forest, Paul Cézanne’s landscape La Montagne Sainte-Victoire and Georges Seurat’s Les Poseuses, Ensemble (petite version).

Among other artists whose works are part of Visionary: The Paul G. Allen Collection are Monet, Vincent van Gogh, Pablo Picasso, Renoir, Roy Lichtenstein, Lucian Freud, Botticelli, J.M.W. Turner and Francis Bacon. The collection spans 500 years of art history.



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Records expected for some artworks

According to Forbes, at least three works — La Montagne Sainte-Victoire, Les Poseuses, Ensemble (petite version) and Van Gogh’s Verger avec cyprès — are expected to fetch over USD 100 million each.

“Many of the works in the collection are expected to be records for the artist. Many of them actually were records for the artist at the time that they were purchased by Paul Allen from previous auctions, the Freud being one of them,” Christie’s Vice Chairman Johanna Flaum was quoted as saying by Reuters.

“We will expect records for Seurat, Cezanne, many of the masterpieces within the collection,” Flaum said.

Proceeds will go to charity

Paul Allen
Paul Allen (R) with Allen Institute for Brain Science CEO Allan Jones in 2011.(Image credit: Jordanatvulcan – Own work/CC BY-SA 4.0/Wikimedia Commons)

Christie’s said that as per Allen’s wishes “the estate will dedicate all the proceeds to philanthropy.”

Allen, who co-founded Microsoft Corp with Bill Gates, was one of the world’s richest persons till his death in 2018 at the age of 65 owing to complications of non-Hodgkin lymphoma.

He was known for his philanthropic activities and concern for the environment. During his lifetime, Allen reportedly donated over USD 2.5 billion towards protection for endangered species, ocean floor exploration and bioscience.

Philanthropic works are carried on by the Paul G Allen Family Foundation. According to The Guardian, it invests mostly in communities across the Pacific north-west with special focus on the environment, regional arts and underserved populations.

(Main and Featured images: Christie’s/@christiesinc/Instagram)