Christopher Knight draws interesting connections between Norton Simon and Eli Broad in the Los Angeles Times. Both were renowned Los Angeles collectors. Broad shares
Simon’s flirtations with giving the collection away (at least seven institutions); distrust of traditional museum management; engineering of a bailout of an artistically adventuresome but financially faltering institution (the old Pasadena Museum for Simon, MOCA for Broad); later deciding to open his own museum, and more. […]
Simon had scant interest in contemporary art. Sculptures by Henry Moore and Barbara Hepworth were about as close as he got. In 1968 he did pay $65,000 for “Cubi XXVIII” by the late American sculptor David Smith.
He sold the masterpiece in 1982 for $1.1 million — a not-uncommon practice in which Simon, acting like a dealer, took a big profit to subsidize other endeavors. Twenty-three years later, Smith’s sculpture went under the hammer at Sotheby’s. Its staggering sale price of $23.8 million set a new benchmark as the most expensive contemporary work then sold at auction. The buyer was Eli Broad.
Eli Broad, Today’s Norton Simon (Los Angeles Times)