Art collecting has been a long-standing passion for individuals throughout history. From humble beginnings to immense fortunes, art collectors have demonstrated a deep appreciation for the beauty and value of artworks. In this article, we will explore the top 10 biggest art collectors in the world and delve into their remarkable collections.
Top 10 Biggest Art Collectors In The World
10. Roman Abramovich and Dasha Zhukova
Roman Abramovich, a wealthy politician and entrepreneur, is known not only for his business ventures but also for his involvement in the art world. Together with his partner Dasha Zhukova, Abramovich has amassed an impressive art collection. They have a particular fondness for artists like Ilya Kabakov, Lucien Freud, and Francis Bacon. Notable purchases include Lucien Freud’s “Benefits Supervisor Sleeping” and a trio of Francis Bacon works.
9. Daniel Turriani
Daniel Turriani, an Italian collector and businessman, has established himself as a prominent figure in the art world. Raised in a family with a deep appreciation for art, Turriani’s passion for the arts was nurtured from a young age. After pursuing a degree in art history, Turriani began working as a private art dealer and eventually founded his successful art business, JT Art Asset. He actively seeks out and purchases works by various artists, both for his own collection and for his clients.
8. Charles Saatchi
Charles Saatchi, the co-founder of the advertising agency Saatchi & Saatchi, has made significant contributions to the art world through his personal collection. Saatchi’s collection, displayed at the Saatchi Gallery in London, features works by prominent artists such as Anselm Kiefer, Donald Judd, and Andy Warhol. Despite his reclusive nature, Saatchi’s gallery has been open to the public since 1985, allowing art enthusiasts to appreciate his extensive collection.
7. Bernard Arnault
Bernard Arnault, the CEO of luxury goods company LVMH, is not only one of the wealthiest individuals in the world but also a passionate art collector. His collection focuses on the connection between modern artists and the second half of the 20th century, with an emphasis on “blue-chip” art. Arnault’s collection includes works by renowned artists like Jean-Michel Basquiat, among others.
6. Steve Cohen
Steve Cohen, a renowned trader and art lover, manages nearly $10 billion of his own money through Point72, his family business. Cohen’s art collection, valued at roughly $1 billion, includes iconic works by artists such as Picasso, Andy Warhol, and Jeff Koons. His collection is spread across Point72’s offices in New York City, London, and Stamford, where employees have the unique experience of interacting with the artworks on a daily basis.
5. Francois Pinault
Francois Pinault, a successful businessman, owns a world-class art collection that spans over 3,000 works of modern and contemporary art. As the owner of Christie’s auction house, Pinault’s influence in the art world extends beyond his collection. Notable artists in his collection include Mark Rothko, Lucio Fontana, Damien Hirst, and Jeff Koons. Pinault’s collection is estimated to be worth over $1.4 billion, and a significant portion of it is displayed at the Palazzo Grassi in Venice.
4. Philip Niarchos
Philip Niarchos inherited a massive fortune and an impressive art collection from his father. His collection includes the world’s finest private collection of Van Goghs, Picasso’s self-portrait Yo, and El Greco’s exquisite Pieta. Niarchos expanded the collection with postwar and modern pieces, including works by Andy Warhol and Maurizio Cattelan. Notably, he acquired a Jean-Michel Basquiat self-portrait for a record-breaking amount in 1982 and later sold Basquiat’s Dustheads for $48.8 million in 2013.
3. Eli Broad and Edythe Broad
Eli Broad, a self-made billionaire, and his wife Edythe have built a sizable modern and postwar art collection over the past half-century. Their passion for contemporary art led them to acquire works by artists like Jasper Johns, Yayoi Kusama, Robert Rauschenberg, and Ed Ruscha. Their collection also includes notable pieces by Van Gogh, Miro, Picasso, and Matisse. The Broads’ commitment to sharing their collection with the public is evident through the establishment of a museum in Los Angeles where visitors can view their artworks at no cost.
2. David Geffen
David Geffen, known for his business acumen, owns one of the largest art collections in the world. His collection features works by renowned artists such as Jasper Johns, Willem de Kooning, and Jackson Pollock. While he has sold some prized works, Geffen still possesses several late 20th-century artworks. Notably, he donated $150 million to the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, highlighting his philanthropic efforts and commitment to the art world.
1. Ezra and David Nahmad
Ezra and David Nahmad, brothers with a background in investment banking, jointly own the most significant and valuable art collection in the world. Their approach to art is driven by maximizing profits. Their collection, stored in a warehouse near Geneva Airport, boasts around 5,000 works of art with a total market value of over $3 billion. It includes masterpieces by Monet, Matisse, Renoir, Rothko, Picasso, and more, with over 300 Picassos alone. Despite their controversial reputation in the art world, the Nahmads have established themselves as influential collectors.
Art collecting is a passion that transcends boundaries and encompasses individuals from various backgrounds and industries. The five collectors mentioned above, Steve Cohen, Bernard Arnault, Charles Saatchi, Daniel Turriani, and Roman Abramovich with Dasha Zhukova, have made significant contributions to the art world through their extensive collections. Their passion for art has not only enriched their lives but also allowed them to share their love for art with the public, leaving a lasting impact on the art community.