The Collection of Peggy and David Rockefeller will be auctioned at Christie’s in New York City May 8-10 — and every cent from the sale (anticipated to fetch a record-breaking $1 billion) will be donated to charity. Beneficiaries include Harvard and Rockefeller Universities, the Museum of Modern Art and the Council on Foreign Relations.
Steven Zick, senior vice president and director for Christie’s Fine Art Auctioneers in Chicago, and a featured speaker at Make It Better’s recent Money, Values & Impact event, explains why the collection is so extraordinary.
“Eventually all these objects which have brought so much pleasure to Peggy and me will go out into the world and will again be available to other caretakers who, hopefully, will derive the same satisfaction and joy from them as we have over these past several decades.” —David Rockefeller
Here are a few of our favorite things.
Mural I, Mural II, Mural III, Joan Miró
The artist had originally painted these murals for a child’s room, but the Rockefellers found a home for them in the living room at Ringing Point, their estate in Seal Harbor, Maine. Estimate: around $20 million
Femme assise dans un jardin, Edgar Degas
After purchasing this painting at the Bernheim-Jeune Gallery during a trip to Paris, the Rockefellers hung it in the front hall of their New York City home. Estimate: $1-$1.5 million
George III Polychrome-Painted Four-Poster Bed
After the death of Max Epstein, a prominent Chicago collector, the Rockefellers acquired this bed and a number of other pieces from his estate. Estimate: $8,000-$12,000
L’âne bleu, Marc Chagall
David famously commissioned Chagall to create a stained glass window in memory his father, John D. Rockefeller, at Union Church in Pocantico Hills, New York. Soon after, he visited the artist at his studio near Paris. This vase caught his eye, and he bought it — plus two paintings — on the spot. Estimate: $80,000-$120,000
Oval Sculpture, Henry Moore
On one of many business trips to London, David Rockefeller visited the artist Henry Moore at his studio. While there, he asked if he could purchase this white marble sculpture as a memento of the trip. Estimate: $300,000-$500,000
Special thanks to Christie’s for providing these images and information — much of which comes from the Peggy and David Rockefeller Collection books. For more, visit christies.com.
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Cara Sullivan is Make It Better’s Executive Editor. She has held positions at Cosmopolitan, Allure, and Martha Stewart Weddings magazines, and writes for many national and local publications. Sullivan lives in Ravenswood Gardens with her husband and two young daughters, and is a passionate supporter of Indivisible Chicago, a grassroots organization that focuses on direct actions that small, local groups can take to influence their representatives in Washington.