‘The Scream’ buyer is revealed to be financier Leon Black

A version of Edvard Munch's "The Scream," sold in May for close to $120 million. The buyer has been revealed to be New York financier Leon Black.
(Carl Court / AFP /Getty Images)

The owner of Edvard Munch’s “The Scream” has been revealed. Leon Black, the New York financier and head of the investment firm Apollo Global Management, is reported to be the person who paid $119.9 million for the highly coveted masterpiece.

The Wall Street Journal first reported Wednesday that “several people close to the collector” confirmed Black’s purchase.

The version of “The Scream” sold at a Sotheby’s auction in New York on May 2. The $119.9-million price set a record for the most expensive artwork sold at auction. Petter Olsen, the scion of a Norwegian shipping dynasty, had put the painting on the auction block.


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Black and his wife, Debra, are considered to be one of the world’s top art collectors. Black sits on the boards of New York’s Metropolitan Museum of Art and the Museum of Modern Art. His wife is a theater producer who has backed a number of Broadway productions, including “August: Osage County” and “Frost/Nixon.”

The identity of the buyer was not revealed at the time of the sale. Black bid by telephone.

The Journal said a spokesman for Black declined to comment for its story. Black has amassed one of the largest art collections in the world. Collectors of his caliber are frequently courted by major museums to donate art from their personal troves.

There are four versions of “The Scream.” This is the only one to have appeared at auction; the others reside in museums in Norway.


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Edvard Munch’s ‘The Scream’ goes for $119.9 million at Sotheby’s

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