Embattled Lehman Brothers CEO and wife to auction $20 million of post-war and contemporary art through Christie’s

September 27th, 2008

\'Study for Agony\' (1946-7) by Arshile Gorky
‘Study for Agony I’ (1946-7) by Arshile Gorky, part of a Christie’s auction which will include works from the Kathleen and Richard Fuld collection, via Art Market Monitor

“I’ve been selling things for the past few years, but nobody cared until now,” Kathleen Fuld was reported to have said to the New York Times in an interview with Carol Vogel. Kathleen Fuld, trustee of MoMA–and wife of beleaguered Lehman Brothers’ CEO Richard Fuld–recently announced that she will be auctioning 16 works of post-war and contemporary art through Christie’s on November 12th, following a related report  (covered by AO) that Lehman may sell some or all of its 3,500-work corporate collection. The Fulds make regular appearances on ARTNews list of Top 200 collectors, and have been collecting since the 1980s, focusing mostly on drawings and studies that yield insight into the artists’ creative process. The auction will include drawings from the likes of Barnett Newman, Arshile Gorky, Willem de Kooning and Agnes Martin, and is expected to raise $15 to $20 million.

Study in Financial Agony: Lehman Chief’s Wife Hires Christie’s to Auction $20 M. Collection [New York Observer]
Fallen Tycoon to Auction Prized Works [Wall Street Journal]
Kathy Fuld, Wife of Lehman CEO, to Auction Artworks [Bloomberg]
Lehman Brothers CEO is a top art collector. For a few more minutes. [C-MONSTER]
The Russians Aren’t Coming, They’re Already Here! Lehman Chair Looks to Moscow to Sell His Art Collection [New York Observer]
Fuld Folds Paper [Art Market Monitor]
Modern Drawings Head for Auction
[New York Times]

Untitled (Woman) (1950) by Willem de Koonig
‘Untitled (Woman)’ by Willem de Kooning, via Stephen Foster Fine Arts

The drawings are extremely rare, and reflect a value-oriented collecting strategy honed by the Fulds over the last two decades. “I needed to look where other people were not,” Mrs Fuld revealed in the same interview with the Times. “At the time, most people dismissed drawings.” Interest from ‘new markets’–a euphemism for more recent collectors from Russia, China, the Middle East and Russia who have become a force on the international art markets–is said to be particularly keen, with the collection being shopped in London and Moscow in advance of the November 12th auction.  As reported yesterday by AO, half of the works at the Gagosian Gallery in London are sold to Russian buyers.  The Fulds now plan to devote their collecting energies to a selection of living artists, including Jasper Johns, Louise Bourgeois, Brice Marden, Cy Twombly, Sigmar Polke, Ed Ruscha, Bruce Nauman, Ellsworth Kelly and Roni Horn.

\'Two Trees on Mary Street..Amen\' by Willem de Koonig
‘Two Trees on Mary Street..Amen’ by Willem de Kooning, via Queensland Art Gallery

\'Stars\' by Agnes Martin
‘Stars’ (1950) by Agnes Martin, via Hencethe Gallery

Dick Fuld Christie\'s Sale
Dick Fuld via Businessweek