After traveling to Hong Kong, London, Paris, Los Angeles, Beijing and Shanghai, the collection, which was gathered by David Rockefeller and his wife Peggy Guggenheim, was auctioned in series by Christie’s New York. 1500 lots were presented, among which ancient art, impressionists, cubists, abstract expressionists, Chinese porcelain, coins, American decorative art and design furniture.
The list of the auction’s beneficiaries reflects the Rockefellers’ extent of interests and activities. These include Harvard University, the Americas Society, the Council on Foreign Relations, the David Rockefeller Fund and Rockefeller Brothers Fund, the Maine Coast Heritage Trust, Rockefeller University, the Americas Farmland Trust, Mount Desert Land and Garden Preserve, and the MoMA, whose collection and finances were supported by David Rockefeller throughout his life. Pursuant to the wishes expressed in his will (Rockefeller died on March 20th 2017) the funds raised were allocated to these 11 organizations, to support projects in the fields of culture, education, science, environment and agriculture.
The highest performing sales included Picasso’s Young Girl with a Flower Basket, sold for USD 115,000,000; Monet’s Water Lilies in Bloom sold for a record USD 84,687,500; Matisse’s Odalisque Reclining with Magnolias bought for USD 80,750,000. Diego Rivera’s The Rivals, initially estimated at USD 5-7 million, was auctioned for USD 9,762,500. Thus, the sale of the Peggy and David Rockefeller collection reached a total of USD 832,573,469 with 100% of lots sold, and exceeded the record achieved by the sale of Yves Saint-Laurent and Pierre Bergé’s collection, which reached USD 443 million in 2009.