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Friday, 05 September 2014 12:30

Bunny Mellon Estate Sells Works by Mark Rothko and Richard Diebenkorn

Mark Rothko's 'Yellow Expanse.' Mark Rothko's 'Yellow Expanse.'

Katya Kazakina puts a lot of guess work together to postulate what might have happened in the private sale of three of Bunny Mellon’s paintings, two of the nine Rothkos the Mellons once owned and a Richard Diebenkorn. The Rothkos were the monumental 10 x 15 foot No. 20 (Yellow Expanse) which the late David Anfam described as the “the jewel in the crown.” The 1953 painting was casually valued at $125m as early as 2010. The conjecture that the group were sold for $300m—and that’s just conjecture as you will see below—would suggest that No. 20 was sold for $200m or more:

Alexander Forger, the executor of Mellon’s estate, confirmed in a telephone interview that three paintings had been sold. He declined to identify the paintings, the price or buyer’s identity, citing confidentiality agreements.

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