Warhol Foundation to Sell Off or Donate its Warhols in Deal with Christie’s


The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts has announced that all of its thousands of works by Warhol will be sold via Christie’s or donated to museums over the coming several years.

The sales aim to increase the foundation’s endowment and are expected to bring as much as $100 million. The foundation’s endowment currently stands at about $225 million. Over its 25 years in existence, the foundation has given out nearly $250 million in grants to museums and nonprofit organizations, as well as to individual artists and writers through its sister foundation, Creative Capital.
Beginning in a series of live auctions on Nov. 12, works in various mediums-paintings, drawings, photographs, prints and printed graphic material–will go on offer, followed by online auctions beginning February 2013, along with ongoing private sales. Some of the works have never been on public view.

The works are not the artist’s most iconic. “There are no soup cans or Marilyns,” Christie’s Amy Cappellazzo told the New York Times.

New York dealer Christoph van de Weghe expressed some skepticism. “They say they have about $100 million worth of art, but the problem is that no one knows what they have,” he told A.i.A. “Is it all paintings they weren’t able to sell or do they really have some incredible hidden treasures?”

“If it’s all great paintings all at once, it’s not good for the market, but that’s probably not the case,” van de Weghe said. “Maybe people will be able to buy a Warhol who normally wouldn’t. But it’s not going to be like the Liz Taylor sale, where everyone wanted a piece of the action.”

While Warhol is more or less ubiquitous, his profile is especially high this fall. Among the Warholiana coming soon: the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, opens the exhibition “Regarding Warhol: Sixty Artists, Fifty Years” on Sept. 18; Target Stores recently introduced a new line of Warhol-inspired Campbell’s Soup cans; and New York’s Eykyn Maclean Gallery opens the exhibition “Andy Warhol Flowers” on Nov. 1.

Andy Warhol, Self-Portrait with Fright Wig, 1986 unique Polacolor ER print,
4 1/4 x 3 3/8 in. Estimate: $15,000-20,000