Yvonna Russell
5 min readNov 11, 2022
White Rose with Larkspur №1 GEORGIA O’KEEFFE (1887–1986)

Nothing brings out the big ballers like a Christie’s art auction. Visionary: The Paul G. Allen Collection was the landmark philantrophic sale at Christie’s Rockefeller Plaza in New York on Nov 9–10 2022. The most valuable art collection of all time, the two day live auction bought in a total of $1.62 Billion dollars.

Deux corbeilles de fruits PIERRE BONNARD (1867–1947)
Le Grand Canal à Venise EDOUARD MANET (1832–1883)

Global bidding from 32 countries sent sales into a frenzy with 27 artists records set from the Hot Lot List including Georges Seurat, Paul Cezanne, Vincent Van Gogh, Diego Rivera, Edward Steichen, Barbara Hepworth, Andrew Wyeth, Jasper Johns, Mildred Thompson and Claes Oldenberg. The 60 lot sale boasted 5 works selling for more than $100 Million.

Oiseau JOAN MIRO (1893–1983)

The Wednesday evening sale on November 9, 2022 the auction Part I totaled $1.5 Billion in an amazing single night.

Maternité II PAUL GAUGUIN (1848–1903)

On Thursday, November 10, 2022 Part 2 the day sale starting at 10 AM began with a strong showing of artwork spanning all genres and mediums generated an additional $115,863,500.

The Lungernsee by Moonlight JOSEPH MALLORD WILLIAM TURNER, R.A. (LONDON 1775–1851)
Paysage avec lac et chimères MAX ERNST (1891–1976)

An international phenomenon, Visionary comprised 155 masterpiece objects spanning 500 years of art history. The philantrophist and innovator Paul G. Allen was a an avid art collector.

Untitled ALEXANDER CALDER (1898–1976)

“You have to be doing it because you just love the works… and you know that all these works are going to outlast you,” Allen reflected in an interview for Seeing Nature. “You’re only a temporary custodian of them.”

Day Dream ANDREW WYETH (1917–2009)

Before the auction, The Paul G. Allen Collection highlights embarked on a worldwide tour of Hong Kong, Shanghai, Taipei, London, Paris, and Los Angeles with thousands of visitors.

Queen Anne’s Lace Near Kilham DAVID HOCKNEY (b. 1937)

Guillaume Cerutti, CEO, Christie’s, said, “The Paul G. Allen collection attracted tens of thousands of visitors to Christie’s galleries around the world, and has now made history, setting the record for the most valuable auction sale ever. This resounding success can be attributed to the unique combination of the intrinsic quality of the art works, the inspiring and visionary figure of Paul G. Allen, and the philanthropic endeavors underpinning the sale. Christie’s is deeply honored to have been entrusted with the sale of this collection.”

GERHARD RICHTER (B. 1932) Ohne Titel
Ohne Titel GERHARD RICHTER (B. 1932)

The tour ending in New York, drew crowds of art lovers to Christie’s Rockefeller Center galleries where many lined up for as long as two hours to enjoy the magnificent exhibition on view for October 29 — November 9th.

The Rivals DIEGO RIVERA (1886–1957)
Black Flames LOUISE BOURGEOIS (1911–2010)

From co-founding Microsoft in 1975 to starting his first charitable foundation the Allen Institute in 2003 with its game-changing scientific breakthroughs across brain science, cell science, and immunology with lifetime giving totaling over $2.65 billion, Paul G. Allen was a modern polymath.

Small False Start JASPER JOHNS (B. 1930)
Composition in Blue and Black SAM FRANCIS (1923–1994)

Long before his passing in 2018, Allen was an early signer of the Giving Pledge, a commitment to contribute the majority of one’s wealth to charitable causes.

Tiefes Braun WASSILY KANDINSKY (1866–1944)

He remarked “…one of my core goals is to accelerate discovery and provide some of the world’s brightest minds with the resources to solve some of the world’s thorniest challenges.”

Nashaquitsa THOMAS HART BENTON (1889–1975)

Bonnie Brennan, President, Christie’s Americas, said, “What a week we’ve had at Christie’s in New York City. We share Mr. Allen’s belief in transformative philanthropy and make this belief a central part of all we do. This year alone, Christie’s will have raised an estimated $2 billion for philanthropic causes, and that has inspired us as we do all we can for the generous collectors we work with. Christie’s has, and certainly continues to be, the undisputed house for top collections. We’ve sold eight of the 10 most valuable of all time and set the standard this year, with the sales of Paul G. Allen, Ann and Gordon Getty, Thomas and Doris Ammann, and Anne Bass.”

Verger avec cyprès VINCENT VAN GOGH (1853–1890)

Rest in power Paul G. Allen the philanthropist and co-founder of Microsoft who lived a life motivated by a love of ideas and making the world a better place.

Bunte Landschaft PAUL KLEE (1879–1940)

The historic auction is a triumph for Christie’s and the estate of Paul G. Allen, the sale celebrates the breadth and depth of his generosity, his desire to continue improving the lives of people around the world even after his death and will create impact for generations to come.

Christie’s evening sale

All Artwork images courtesy of Christie’s



Yvonna Russell

Yvonna Russell is a writer with over 10 years of experience in covering the arts, style, and good causes.