David Rockefeller, banker, philanthropist and avid collector died in March at the age of 101, prompting the sale of more than 2,000 items from his estate, including art works, furniture and decorative objects, according to Christie’s.
The New York auction house announced the sale yesterday (June 13). The auction is expected to take place next year.
“We are proud to fulfill my father’s wish to share with the world the art and objects he and my mother collected over a lifetime together,” son David Rockefeller Jr. said in a statement.
Rockefeller was an avid collector of impressionist, post-impressionist and modern works of art, as well as paintings by American artists.
His collection also includes English and European furniture, Asian art, European ceramics and Chinese porcelain, silver, and American decorative arts and furniture.
In a sampling of his eye for art, a Mark Rothko painting sold for more than $72 million in 2007. He’d purchased the work in 1960 for less than $10,000, according to the auction house.
Other works were handed down from his family.
Rockefeller was the last remaining grandchild of the 19th century industrialist and Standard Oil founder John D. Rockefeller.
He was the youngest son of John D. Rockefeller Jr. and Abby Aldrich Rockefeller.
Siblings included Abby (1903–1976), John III (1906–1978), Nelson (1908–1979), Laurance (1910–2004) and Winthrop (1912–1973).
Rockefeller married Margaret McGrath in 1940. They remained together until her death in 1968. They had six children together.
Rockefeller headed the Chase Manhattan Corp. during his career. He was a noted collector along with his wife, known informally as Peggy.
Proceeds will go to charities involved in cultural, educational, medical and environmental causes.
Beneficiaries include Harvard University, the Museum of Modern Art, the Council on Foreign Relations, the American Farmland Trust, the Maine Coast Heritage Trust and the Mount Desert Land and Garden Preserve.
Art works and other objects slated for auction will go on public exhibition in Europe, Asia and the United States before the sale takes place at Christie’s headquarters in New York City, the auction house said.