(24 Oct 2015) Alfred Taubman, the late billionaire developer and former owner of Sotheby's auction house, was a boundless art collector whose taste spanned every period, genre and medium, from works of antiquity to contemporary art.
In advance of a series of sales of his 500-piece collection estimated to bring more than $500 million, Sotheby's has transformed its building inside and out to give a real sense of its depth and scope.
Three-hundred of the works fill the lobby and the entire 10th floor of the building constructed during Taubman's tenure from 1983 to 2000. The dedicated exhibited runs for four days only, from Saturday through Tuesday.
Two floors of the exterior are wrapped in a vinyl material featuring many of the pieces and artists in the collection. The names of Willem de Kooning, Pablo Picasso, Mark Rothko, Alberto Giacometti and others are splashed across the surface in blue lettering reminiscent of the Bauhaus style Taubman cherished.
Old Master paintings can be seen together with American art from the late 1900s. Elsewhere, a piece of antiquity appears next to a Francis Bacon work from 1961.
The collection, if sold for $500 million, would rival the $477 million sale of designer Yves Saint Laurent's estate at Christie's in Paris in 2009.
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