SothebysTaubmanSothebysTaubman2SothebysTaubman6SothebysTaubman5SothebysTaubman4“You may find there’s more similarity
in the challenge of marketing a
precious painting by Degas and a
frosted mug of root beer than you
ever thought possible.”
Alfred Taubman

The art collection (500 works) of Alfred Taubman (1924-2015), retail magnate and former owner of Sotheby’s, is currently on display at Sotheby’s New York — and will be sold in a series of auctions in November.

Mr. Taubman bought Sotheby’s in 1983 and took it public in 1988, after promising not to to secure the deal in the first place. The resulting Wall Street (returns first) mindset continues to pervert an art world (characterized by untruth), that is increasingly at odds with the world of art (seeking truth).

Interestingly, the Wall Street (short term plunder) mindset driving Sotheby’s hasn’t even been good for Sotheby’s of late — with their share price down over 30% since the last CEO was fired (11/20/14) by an activist Wall Streeter on the Board, seeking greater returns, coupled with the auction house guaranteeing the Taubman family (with one member on Sotheby’s board) $500 million for the sale of Al Taubman’s checkered collection.

Photographs: Stephen Wise