A billionaire couple, Richard and Alison Mellon, are auctioning off some of their multimillion-dollar art collection and have raised $676 million in the auction.
Among the pieces being auctioned are two works that once belonged to Adolf Hitler, Norman Rockwell’s “Sporting Family from the First World War, and Alberto Giacometti’s “L’homme qui marche I.”
The collection includes more than 3,300 works, with some in private collections.
The auction kicked off with a host of contemporary works from emerging artists like Claes Oldenburg, Jeff Koons, Dale Chihuly and Felix Gonzalez-Torres, which brought in the bulk of the sale. Prices range from $5,000 to $100 million for painting, sculpture and photography.
The draw of the sale, however, is the art the Mellon’s have sold. In fact, at the top end of the auction is the Zahniger Collection, a collection of 12 Lichtenstein paintings that went for $82.5 million – or slightly more than $100 per painting.
Also in the collection is The Surf Club by Ludwig Mies van der Rohe, which went for $71.4 million. The home has only been open for viewing in person since 2007, and was built around a 7-acre reef in Montauk, Long Island, N.Y.
According to the New York Times, the Mellon’s art collection is perhaps best known for the collection they amassed between 1947 and 1986, the largest private collection of American art in the world at the time. In 1983, Richard Mellon II bought The Walt Disney Company and merged it with Walt Disney Studio to become The Walt Disney Company.
Richard Mellon II died in 2006, and his widow, Alison, who purchased The Walt Disney Company, died in 2012. According to The Huffington Post, the couple would not comment on whether there is any resentment between them over the sale.
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