For those new to investing, you may not have thought of art as an investment vehicle but not Ms. Oprah Winfrey, she held on to a coveted painting for 10 years and it earned her a profit of $63,000,000
Bloomberg, reports Winfrey who first purchased the canvas for $87.9 million in 2006 at Christie’s in New York sold the Gustav Klimt “Portrait of Adele Bloch-Bauer II” from 1912 for $150 million in the summer of 2016. This purchased is stated to be one of the biggest private art deals in 2016.
The history of the Klimt portrait is the canvas was a part of stolen artifacts by Nazis which was then restituted by the Austrian government to the Bloch-Bauer’s heirs in 2006. Thereafter a legal battle ensued with the family which inspired the 2015 movie “Woman in Gold”. The woman in the portrait was the wife of a Jewish industrialist and art patron in Vienna.
The Museum of Modem Art (MOMA) had the pleasure of having the painting hanging on its walls on the fifth-floor since 2014. It was originally loaned anonymously to MOMA for five years; however, the arranger of the loan David Geffen, Winfrey’s friend and–benefactor of the museum approached Winfrey telling her about art dealer Larry Gagosian who had a potential buyer in place. The anonymous purchaser is of Chinese decent.
China may be far for some of us, but if you’d like to see the portrait along with the first, you may be able to view it at billionaire Ronald Lauder’s Neue Galerie private museum in New York. It will be there now through July. Lauder paid $135 million in 2006 for “Portrait of Adele Bloch-Bauer I”. Apparently, Oprah’s Chinese buyer and Luder had been in talks.
No word on how much Geffen himself made in the deal, but he truly knows the term “It Pay’s to Have Friends in High Places”.