Bloomberg explores Tony Hill’s art collection noted for its breadth and quality. The Met trustee has a passion for both Rennaissance bronzes and Contemporary art. That raises two questions: 1) why haven’t more Contemporary collectors at Hill’s level followed him into bronzes, let alone ancient ones. 2) Since Hill is widely praised for his taste level and connoisseurship, does his owning a few Christopher Wool’s counter the complaints from many older collectors and dealers about the artist?
[H]is four Bacon paintings may be worth more than $140 million, according to two valuation experts familiar with the collection who asked not to be named because the information is private. Hill’s 1956 “Study for Portrait II Pope” by Bacon fetched 14 million pounds $27.4 million at Christie’s in London in 2007. Its current market value is about $60 million.
He bought Warhol’s 1962 “Campbell’s Soup Can beef consomme” for $340,000 at auction in 1996, according to Artnet Worldwide Corp. In 2010, a similar-sized painting from Warhol’s soup can series sold for $9 million at auction.
His 34 bronze statuettes, from the 15th to the early 18th centuries, are on view through June 15 at the Frick Collection, a museum founded by earlier-era financier Henry Clay Frick. They are valued at more than $70 million, according to people familiar with the works.
Hill’s 1612-14 canvas by Rubens of a battle commander hangs at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York, where Hill is a trustee. The Rubens fetched 9 million pounds at Christie’s in London in 2010. Its current value could range from 15 million pounds to 20 million pounds, according to Johnny Van Haeften, a London-based art dealer. The Hills have promised a gift to the Met of the 14th-century resurrection scene by Giovanni da Milano, said Elyse Topalian, a Met spokeswoman.
“I don’t know many collectors who can spread their wings over that kind of time frame,” Richard Feigen, a New York art dealer who has known the Hills professionally and socially since the 1990s, said in an interview. “As collectors they are more sophisticated than most museums. In order for them to like something, it has to be world class.”