21. February 2017 · Comments Off on The 5 Most Valuable Art Collections in the World · Categories: Art Collections · Tags:

The top 5 most valuable privately held art collections in the world are worth a staggering $11 billion. Some of these collections are hidden away. But many of these billionaires have a true passion for art and give generously through their foundations to museums and art galleries and allow their masterpiece collections to be seen and admired by the public.

  1. David & Ezra Nahmad – Estimated Collection Value: $3 Billion

Pablo Picasson painting

The world’s most valuable collection of art is held jointly by brothers David and Ezra Nahmad. They are not so much collectors as they are art dealers as these brothers buy and sell their artwork primarily at auction. They store their collection, an estimated 5,000 pieces in a warehouse in Geneva. A major portion of their collection is around 300 Picassos with an estimated value of nearly $1 billion. David and Ezra each have sons named Helly, and each son runs a Helly Nahmad Art Gallery. One is in Manhattan and the other is in London. The artwork that the sons own is not a part of David & Ezra’s holdings.

  1. David Geffen – $2.3 Billion

David Geffen has an estimated net worth of $7.1 billion. He made his fortune in the music and entertainment industry. He founded Asylum Records and Geffen Records whose notable names include Aerosmith and The Eagles. He later co-founded Dreamworks with Steven Spielberg.

Geffen’s art collection focuses on midcentury American artwork. The most notable artist in his collection is Jackson Pollock. Geffen is not only an art collector but an art philanthropist as well. In the last 2 years, Geffen has made contributions of $100 million each to the Museum of Modern Art in New York City and the Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts.

  1. Eli Broad – $2.2 Billion

Eli and his wife Edythe opened the doors to the Broad Los Angeles Art Museum in 2015. Offering free access to 2,000 pieces of their collection allowed over 500,000 visitors to enjoy the artwork in the first year. The foundation oversees and manages the 5,000 pieces of artwork the Broads have collected over the years.

  1. Philip Niarchos – $2.2 Billion

The source of the art collection owned by Philip Niarchos is a fascinating tale. The bulk of the collection was purchased from actor Edward Robinson in 1957 for only $3 million. The sale was to fund Robinson’s divorce. Since 1957 Niarchos has added to the collection considerably and is now possibly the largest collection of Van Goghs in the world.

  1. Francois Pinault – $1.4 Billion

With an estimated net worth of $16 billion, Francois Pinault and family have the distinction of being the wealthiest on this list. The family created the fortune came from their ownership of luxury design houses Gucci, Stella McCartney, Alexander McQueen and Yves Saint Laurent.

The Francois Pinault Foundation owns and operates two contemporary art museums located in Venice. The Palazzo Grassi and Punta Della Dogana’s aim is to share the beautiful Pinault collection publicly and through education provide the keys to reading and understanding the language of contemporary art. The Pinault’s entire collection is available for public viewing and is loaned out to Art Museums and galleries around the world.

02. February 2017 · Comments Off on The World’s Best Art Museums · Categories: Art Collections · Tags: ,

To comprise a list of the world’s best art museums is like trying to make a case for the best artist ever to grace a brush or a chisel. The criteria for making this list is relatively straightforward – to take the art lover on a global tour of the most historic museums containing the best historical art. We will start in New York City, then fly to France, take a short hop in Athens, advance to St. Petersburg, and finish in The Forbidden City before returning home.

New York

New York's Metropolitan Museum of Art

The Metropolitan Museum of Art is the place to go when you are looking for a combination of international art and historical works. European art is represented by work from many of art’s masters, including Botticelli, Rembrandt, Vermeer, Degas, and Rodin. Middle Eastern art from Egypt finds itself represented in the Temple of Dendur, and naturally, American art is displayed in a separate wing. One example of the depth and breadth of the available works is the engraved masterpiece by Albrecht Dürer – “Adam and Eve.”


The Louvre in Paris, France

Perhaps the most internationally known of all art museums is the Louvre in Paris, France. The building itself was built as a medieval fortress and later was the palace of kings. The museum holds the most famous artworks in the world, including “Venus de Milo” which has now been credited to Alexandros of Antioch, and Leonardo da Vinci’s “Mona Lisa.” Though the vast number of the museum’s works date only to the 19th century, its contents are an entire survey of the major forms of important art and its evolution.


Acropolis in Athens, Greece

When it comes to the combination of Western history and art in the form of archaeology, there may be no better place than the Acropolis in Athens, Greece. You can view archeological excavations by peering down through the transparent glass floor, and experience firsthand what it was like to be in the environment of the homes, towns, and buildings of Athens. There are also excavations of smaller settlements to give you a broader perspective of historic Athens. Perhaps the biggest attraction for artists is the incredible amount of detail that has been preserved in the excavation process.

St. Petersburg

Flying north to St. Petersburg, Russia, you visit the State Hermitage. Though not very well-known to the average person, this museum holds collections totaling more than 3 million pieces of art dating from the Stone Age and including works of the 20th century. No significant geographical location is absent of works, as Western European works, along with Eurasian displays, Oriental works, and of course, Russian art all have their own sections. Some of the great Masters’ works are represented here, including Rembrandt, da Vinci, Picasso, Gauguin, Cézanne, and van Gogh.

The Forbidden City

The last leg of the tour ends up in The Forbidden City of China. Located in the center of Beijing, the city is no longer forbidden but was once an imperial palace. At the heart of the Forbidden City is the Palace Museum. Containing art from the collections of the Ming and Qing dynasties, it is the most visited art museum in the world, making it a must-see on the list of the world’s best art museums. Though the collections are vast, a part of the complete collection was moved to Taipei and now is displayed in the National Palace Museum.

Once you have finished this tour, you will have visited the best art museums in the world as they store works that have cultural, artistic, and historical value to the international community. You will also have been exposed to virtually every form of art, expanding your knowledge in your areas of interest while opening your eyes to new, unknown works of art.