Mitchell Rales has gotten a lot of attention for his private museum outside Washington, DC and the conflicts it has caused. He’s also gotten attention for the quality of his art collection as well as his emphasis on his own privacy. So why is Rales selling a work he bought privately in a public manner, namely Christie’s marquee evening sale?
While the catalog entry will say only that the painting is from a private collection, and Mr. Gorvy declined to name the seller, it was displayed at Glenstone, the museum in Potomac, Md., founded by the Washington industrialist and philanthropist Mitchell P. Rales and his wife, Emily.
“No. 19, 1948,” which has an estimate of $25 million to $35 million, was last at auction at Christie’s in May 1993. It sold then for $2.4 million. The buyer, anonymous at the time, was François Pinault, Christie’s owner, according to several dealers familiar with Mr. Pinault’s collection who said that several years later he sold it privately to the Raleses.
A Pollock at Christie’s (Inside Art/NYTimes)