The Final Sale of Masterworks From the Collection of Late Microsoft Founder Paul Allen Could Fetch $43 Million at Christie’s


Christie’s has just unveiled another bundle of masterpieces from the collection of Paul Allen—the third and final sale of works owned by the late billionaire and co-founder of Microsoft.

The first two offerings pulled in an eye-popping $1.6 billion in November for a total of 156 works. The latest grouping includes just seven works—three by Georgia O’Keeffe, three by David Hockney, and one by Edward Hopper—with a cumulative estimate of $30.6 million to $42.8 million.

As with the November sales, all of the proceeds from the upcoming auction will be donated to charity, pursuant to Allen’s wishes, Christie’s said in a statement.

Georgia O'Keeffe, On the Old Santa Fe Road (1930-31). Image courtesy Christie's.

Georgia O’Keeffe, On the Old Santa Fe Road (1930-31). Image courtesy Christie’s.

“This deeply personal group offers an additional and in-depth look at Mr. Allen’s interest and taste,” said Christie’s vice chairman of 20th and 21st century art, Johanna Flaum. “The works also illustrate his lifelong connection to New Mexico—from the state’s stunning vistas and rich cultural history to where Microsoft was founded in 1975.”

Allen was such a fan of O’Keeffe that, in 2000, he bought the artist’s former 20-acre home in Santa Fe. (It is now on the market for around $15 million.)

Christie’s will sell two O’Keeffe flower paintings from his collection: (1930), estimated at $6 million to $8 million, and (1936), estimated at $5 million to $7 million. Another painting by the artist, a New Mexico landscape titled (1930-31), is expected to realize $4 million to $6 million.

Georgia O'Keeffe, Black Iris VI (1936). Image courtesy Christie's.

Georgia O’Keeffe, Black Iris VI (1936). Image courtesy Christie’s.

The three vibrant Hockney paintings are (2000), estimated at $6 million to $8 million;   (2008), estimated at $4 million to $6 million, and (2009), estimated at $5 million to $7 million.

The most modestly priced work of the group is a Hopper watercolor from 1929, , for $600,000 to $800,000.

Edward Hopper, Coast Guard Cove (1929). Image courtesy Christie's.

Edward Hopper, Coast Guard Cove (1929). Image courtesy Christie’s.

Christie’s unveiling of the collection last summer, was somewhat secretive and drawn out. The initial announcement included just two highlights: a $100 million-plus Paul Cézanne landscape and a $50 million Jasper Johns painting. Many art-market players began scouring old museum catalogues to find out what else in Allen’s star-studded collection might make the cut.

As Artnet News reported in November, there had never been an auction with so many eight- and nine-figure lots. Of the 60 works on offer, five sold for more than $100 million each, while 15 others sold for more than $20 million each. The average price of a work in the sale was $25 million, according to Christie’s.

Christie’s will send the works on an international tour starting in Hong Kong, where they will be on display from March 20 to 22 before going on sale in May.


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