L.A. billionaires among ARTnews’ top 200 collectors for 2010

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The annual ARTnews top 200 collectors list is an exclusive club consisting of wealthy individuals, jet-setters, socialites and other elites with expensive fine-art addictions. Those without fat wallets and recession-proof trust funds need not apply.

For its 2010 list, the New York art magazine has canvased collectors, dealers, auctioneers, museum directors, curators and consultants in 22 countries. It found, not surprisingly, that the art market for the ultra-wealthy remains active and even robust by some accounts, but also ‘more mature’ and ‘smarter,’ according to people interviewed for the issue.


Making the cut of the top 10 are L.A.'s very own Eli and Edythe Broad, whose modern art collection will be heading for a new museum that will bear the Broad name. Russian billionaire Roman Abramovich also made the list, as did Greek shipping magnate Philip Niarchos.

Rounding out the top 10 list are Joseph Lau, Francois Pinault, Emily and Mitchell Rales, Debra and Leon Black, Helene and Bernard Arnault, Alexandra and Steven A. Cohen and Sheikh Saud bin Mohammad bin Ali al-Thani.

The Broads have made ARTnews’ top 10 collectors list a number of times in the past, including in 2006, 2007, 2008 and 2009.

The top 200 list includes L.A.-area collectors Maria and William Bell Jr. (the latter is a soap-opera producer); Eugenio Lopez Alonso (a beverages executive who also lives in Mexico); Eric Smidt (president of Harbor Freight Tools); Peter Norton (the software executive who also lives in New York); and the Ovitz family, whose fortune comes from entertainment and other industries.

Peter Brant, the publishing tycoon who recently joined the board of trustees at L.A.'s Museum of Contemporary Art, also made the 200 list, as did composer Andrew Lloyd Webber and artist Damien Hirst.

Another entertainment industry veteran on the list is Jon Landau and his wife Barbara. Landau is a music producer, manager and writer best known for his longtime partnership with Bruce Springsteen.

-- David Ng


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