With pieces by artists as legendary as Claude Monet, Pablo Picasso, and Auguste Renoir, Microsoft cofounder Paul Allen is consistently ranked among the top art collectors in the US.
He recently shared with Bloomberg that he’s a regular attendee of the Venice Biennale, a massive art festival held in Italy every two years.
Now Allen, whose net worth is estimated to be around $US17.5 billion, wants to bring that same arts enthusiasm to his hometown of Seattle.
His investment company, Vulcan, is co-sponsoring the Seattle Art Fair, whch begins Thursday at CenturyLink Field. The stadium is home to the Seattle Seahawks, which Allen also owns.
“To live with these pieces of art is truly amazing,” Allen said to Bloomberg. “I feel that you should share some of the works to give the public a chance to see them.”
Nearly 60 galleries both local and international haven planned exhibitions the fair. According to Bloomberg, many of the major galleries — like New York’s Gagosian Gallery and Pace Gallery — are looking to bring on Seattle-based tech billionaires as clients.
Microsoft and Amazon have made their home in Seattle for decades, and more and more tech companies continue to open offices there.
A similar phenomenon has happened in San Francisco, with local galleries recruiting tech leaders to join the board for events like the FOG Design + Art Fair. Airbnb CEO Brian Chesky, Zynga founder Mark Pincus, One Kings Lane CEO Ali Pincus, Jawbone CEO Hosain Rahman, and Yelp CEO Jeremy Stoppelman are among those who have served on FOG’s committee.
Allen, for one, has said that art collecting has been “a very, very good investment for me.” In 2014, he sold a Mark Rothko painting for $US56.2 million at auction. He had reportedly purchased it for $US34.2 million in 2007.
In October, 40 of Allen’s landscapes will travel to the Portland Art Museum and then on to the Seattle Art Museum.
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