A final group of paintings from late Microsoft co-founder Paul Allen’s collection will come to auction in May at Christie’s New York, six months after the first Allen two sales in November earned a total of $1.6bn (including fees), making it the most valuable art collection ever sold at auction.
The seven paintings will be sold as part of the 20th century evening sale during Christie’s spring marquee week in New York, and are collectively expected to fetch more than $30m. The selection includes three paintings by David Hockney, three by Georgia O'Keeffe and one by Edward Hopper.
White Calico Rose (1930) by O’Keeffe is expected to bring as much as $8m, while her painting On the Old Santa Fe Road (1930-31) is estimated to achieve $6m at the high end. Black Iris VI (1936) is also estimated to fetch as much as $7m. Allen, who died in 2018, was a fan of O’Keeffe’s. In 2000, he purchased her former home Sol y Sombra, and its 20-acre plot in Santa Fe, New Mexico, for $12.5m. The house was put back on the market in 2021 for $22.6m, though the asking price has since been cut to $15m.
Hockney’s The Gate (2000) could fetch $8m, and Early Blossom, Woldgate (2009) could sell for as much as $7m. His Felled Trees (2008) is estimated to bring in as much as $6m. Hopper’s maritime watercolour Coast Guard Cove (1929) is expected to sell for between $600,000 and $800,000 (it previously sold for just over $1m, with fees, at Sotheby's in 2014).
Last year, Christie’s sold 155 works from Allen’s collection over an evening auction and a day sale, which totaled $1.62bn and set 27 new auction records, including for canonical artists Georges Seurat, Paul Cézanne, Vincent Van Gogh, Paul Gauguin and Gustav Klimt. During those November sales, O’Keeffe’s White Rose with Larkspur No. I (1887-86) achieved $26.7m (including fees) and Hockey’s Winter Timber (2009) fetched $23.3m (with fees). The Allen collection broke the record for most valuable art collection sold at auction, just months after Linda and Harry Macklowe’s collection sold for $922.2m over two sales at Sotheby’s New York.
The seven paintings will be the final artworks from Allen’s collection to go to market, a Christie’s spokesperson said. As with last November’s sales, Allen’s estate will donate proceeds to philanthropies pursuant to his wishes, the spokesperson said, though specific charities or causes have not been revealed.