Record-Breaking Bacon Painting Will Be on View at Oregon Museum



The most expensive artwork ever to sell at auction will soon be on public view.

One month ago, Francis Bacon’s triptych Three Studies of Lucian Freud (1969) made international headlines when it sold at Christie’s for $142.4 million, becoming the priciest auction trophy in history.

Now in the hands of an anonymous collector, the painting will go on view at the Portland Art Museum (Dec. 21, 2013-Mar. 30, 2014), as reported in the Oregonian.

The upcoming exhibition is part of the PAM’s “Masterworks/Portland” series, initiated about four years ago to showcase high-profile individual works of art on loan to the museum. Each piece (most recently Titian’s La Bella, ca. 1536) is displayed on its own in an otherwise empty gallery; the idea, according a PAM spokeswoman, is to encourage museumgoers to spend focused time with internationally significant objects.

Beth Heinrich, the museum’s director of public relations, explained to A.i.A. by phone that the owner of the Bacon painting has lent works to the PAM in the past, but that she was not able to divulge his or her identity. “After the auction, the museum director asked our chief curator if there was any opportunity to borrow it,” she said, “since he knew the curator had connections to the collector.”