Steve Cohen, billionaire financier and art collector, joins MOCA board

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Steven A. Cohen, the multi-billionaire hedge fund executive who is bidding for the L.A. Dodgers, is joining the Museum of Contemporary Art as the newest member of its board of trustees. Cohen is one of the world’s top collectors of modern art and has made numerous loans to institutions and exhibitions.

Cohen currently serves as the head of S.A.C. Capital Advisors, an investment firm headquartered in Connecticut, with offices around the world. In December, The Times reported that Cohen was bidding for the Dodgers, and that he has even engaged an architecture firm to make proposed changes for Dodger Stadium.


His addition to the MOCA board brings the number of trustees to 45, with six officers. In September, the museum announced that philanthropist Wallis Annenberg had joined the board.

MOCA said Thursday that Cohen, along with his wife, Alexandra, have helped to fund various exhibitions in the past, including ‘Robert Rauschenberg: Combines,’ which ran at the museum in 2005, and ‘© MURAKAMI,’ which ran in 2007.

Famously press shy, Cohen nonetheless sat down to be profiled at length by Vanity Fair in 2010. The article focused mainly on his career in finance but it also touched on his art collection. The magazine reported that Cohen’s art has an estimated value in the range of $1 billion. Among the works in his collection are pieces by Jasper Johns, Jeff Koons, Damien Hirst, Willem de Kooning and Andy Warhol.


At one point in the article, Cohen said his favorite painting at the moment was a Francis Bacon ‘Screaming Pope,’ which hangs on a wall outside his master bedroom. ‘It’s just a pope,” Cohen told the magazine, ‘with his mouth wide open, sitting behind these screens, screaming. It’s a bizarre picture, but I love it.’

In addition to his new role at MOCA, Cohen sits on the Painting and Sculpture Committee at the Museum of Modern Art in New York.


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-- David Ng