Christie’s announced further details on The Collection of Joan and Preston Robert Tisch, which will be offered as a central highlight of the Impressionist and Modern Art and Post-War and Contemporary Art Sales taking place in New York this May. Encompassing over 40 objects in total, The Collection of Joan and Preston Robert Tisch is expected to realize more than $80 million. Collection proceeds will go to the Tisch family foundations to continue the couple’s lifelong philanthropic mission. (27–29 April 2018)

Conor Jordan, Deputy Chairman, Impressionist and Modern Art, remarked: “Joan and Preston Robert Tisch were judicious collectors, who acquired superlative examples by many of the most pioneering artists of the 20th century. The group that they assembled epitomizes the aesthetic dynamism that came to define the art of the Modern era. It will be an honor to present this collection at auction this May.” 

While studying English at the University of Michigan, Joan met Preston Robert “Bob” Tisch, a fellow student and Brooklyn native. The couple married in 1948, and went on to have three children. Across nearly six decades of marriage, Bob and Joan Tisch rose to become two of New York’s most prominent civic and philanthropic leaders. Bob Tisch became a goodwill ambassador for his city: in addition to championing New York in Washington, he lobbied to bring two Democratic National Conventions to Manhattan, and generated support for largescale urban development initiatives such as the Javits Center. A lifelong football fan, Bob Tisch purchased a fifty percent stake in the New York Giants in 1991.

Alberto Giacometti, La Clairière, conceived in 1950 and cast between 1950 and 1952. Estimate: $10-15 million. © Christie’s Images Limited 2018.
 Joan Tisch was a remarkably driven woman with an unwavering belief in her family’s ability to affect change. Beyond their significant contributions to institutions such as the University of Michigan and Tufts University, the Tisches’ native New York was a particular focus of their energies. From the Central Park Children’s Zoo to New York University, the Metropolitan Museum of Art, and the Museum of Modern Art (where Joan Tisch served as a trustee and posthumously donated works by Léger, Braque, and Giacometti,) the family provided significant support to organizations benefitting New Yorkers from all walks of life. Today, the Tisch name can be found throughout the city, reflecting a multi-generational ethos of giving.

“You could ask what would New York be without the Tisches,” MoMA trustee Marie-Josée Kravis mused upon awarding the family the museum’s David Rockefeller Award, “and I think a lot of institutions would be different.” 

Steadily acquired through personal erudition and connoisseurship, the collection includes works by some of the leading names of the recent art historical canon. From strikingly modern bronzes by Alberto Giacometti and Henry Moore to boldly-colored canvases by Willem de Kooning, Helen Frankenthaler, Joan Miró, Fernand Léger, Pablo Picasso and others, it is a dynamic lesson in 20th century creativity.

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