Lindsay Pollock’s Bloomberg story on the Rose Museum fiasco fills in some important blanks on the source of the museum’s economic value in one gift from Leon Mnuchin:
The bulk of the collection’s value stems from the purchase of 21 works in 1963 with a $50,000 gift from New York lawyer and collector Leon Mnuchin and his wife, Harriet Gevirtz-Mnuchin.
Mnuchin’s son, Robert Mnuchin, worked at Goldman Sachs for 33 years and is now an art dealer in New York. “He had the money and I had the inspiration,” said Sam Hunter, 86, the Rose’s founder and first director. [ . . . ] The collection is worth about $300 million, he said.
Hunter and Leon Mnuchin bought work from artists such as Warhol and Lichtenstein when they were starting out, and more established names like Robert Rauschenberg — many costing $2,000 to $5,000 apiece, he said. The paintings have escalated in value. Lichtenstein’s 1963 “Forget It! Forget Me!” with a blonde woman scolding a man, is worth around $35 million, dealers said. Rauschenberg’s 1961 “Second Time,” a drippy painted collage in pinks and reds, is worth about $15 million. Both are in the Rose.