Inheriting a legacy of arts appreciation and patronage from his visionary mother Abby Aldrich Rockefeller, a founder of MoMA, David Rockefeller, with his wife Peggy Rockefeller, went on to amass one of the most formidable private art collections in the world. Encompassing works by Pablo Picasso, Henri Matisse, Georgia O'Keeffe, Edward Hopper, Claude Monet, Georges Seurat and Paul Gaugin, it emphasizes Impressionist and Post-Impressionist paintings, as well as American and Asian art, European furniture and ceramics, Chinese porcelain and American decorative arts.
Following the passing of David Rockefeller last March at the age of 101, much of his wealth was donated to charities that he and Peggy supported and even founded over the past decades. The David and Peggy Rockefeller Collection, which will be auctioned in the spring at Christie's, will follow suit, as all of the proceeds will go to benefit nonprofit organizations, including American Farmland Trust, the Council on Foreign Relations, the Maine Coast Heritage Trust, MoMA, the Rockefeller Brothers Fund, Rockefeller University and the Stone Barns Restoration Corporation. As Christie's notes, "It will be the most important philanthropic auction ever held."
Among the highlights are Matisse's "Odalisque couchée aux magnolias," which is expected to break the sale record for the artist, and Picasso's "Fillette à la corbeille fleurie," (estimated to sell for about $100 million), as well as a painting of an apple that Picasso gave as a gift to Gertrude Stein. The collection is currently touring around the world, and will be on view at Christie's at Rockefeller Center before the auction in May.
See some of the pieces in the slideshow above, and read more about the collection on the Christie's website, which is periodically featuring "Live like a Rockefeller" posts that delve into the details of particular furnishings and works of art. Stay tuned to Front & Center for more information leading up to the sale.
Photos courtesy of Christie's Images LTD 2018