Tuesday, October 4, 2011
Southeby’s to Auction Masterpieces From Israel Museum
The Israel Museum announced over the weekend that it will be auctioning off 39 pieces from world renowned artists such as Rene Magritte, Camille Pissarro and Georges Braque. In a statement from museum director James S. Snyder, the museum says they plan to “eliminate redundancies and generate funds for the targeted acquisition of works, which will amplify focal points in the collection and fill gaps where they exist.” Specifically, the museum is planning on using the funds for its modern art acquisition fund.
We don’t know about you, but we wouldn’t mind having some of those “redundancies” hanging in our houses! For would-be art collectors out there, expect some of these pieces to fetch a pretty penny when they are auctioned off by Southeby’s in New York and London starting on November 2nd. One of the most anticipated sales, Magritte’s “The Straight Road,” is estimated to pull in $3.5 million (pictured above). All told, this winter’s auctions are expected to pull in a cool $17 million, if not more.
One can never know what will happen once the bidding starts. In 2007, the Israel Museum was told a 1981 Jean Michel Basquiat painting should be valued $6-8 million. It sold for $14.6 million.
All this comes after a massive three-year period of restoration and expansion, which included new galleries and public spaces and a review of the institution’s 500,000-piece collection. The result of that review allowed experts to decide which pieces the museum could part with; and with a successful auction, there will be plenty of money in the piggy bank to go on a global shopping spree.