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Mark Rothko, Number 22 (reds), 1957 © 2020 Kate Rothko Prizel and Christopher Rothko / ARS, New York


Acquavella Galleries, Gagosian and Pace to Handle Sale of Donald B. Marron Family Collection

Good contemporary art reflects the society, and great contemporary art anticipates.

Donald B. Marron

In an unprecedented move, Acquavella Galleries, Gagosian and Pace Gallery have joined forces with the Marron family to handle the sale of the Donald B. Marron Family Collection. The collaboration will pay homage to Don Marron’s (1934–2019) legacy as one of the 20th and 21st centuries' most passionate and erudite collectors, a pioneer of corporate collections, a family man, and a dedicated philanthropist. Over the course of six decades, Marron acquired over 300 modern and contemporary masterworks.

In May 2020*, the three galleries will organize a joint exhibition in New York to showcase the breadth of the Marron family collection. The exhibition will be divided Into three significant phases of Marron’s collecting activities, including his work as a young collector in the 1960s and 1970s, as a museum steward, and as a pioneer in reinventing how corporations build art collections around a singular vision. The exhibition will include works from the family collection as well as loans from institutions.

The Marron family collection includes two major paintings by Pablo Picasso, Femme au béret et à la collerette (Woman with Beret and Collar) (March 6, 1937) and Femme assise (Jacqueline) (May 13–June 16, 1962); Mark Rothko’s Number 22 (reds) (1957); Cy Twombly’s Untitled (Camino Real) (2011); paintings by Willem de Kooning and Gerhard Richter, and significant works by Brice Marden, including Complements (2004–07). Marron also supported generations of rising artists of significance, and the collection reflects this with recent works by Mark Bradford, Mark Grotjahn, and Laura Owens.

While Marron began his collection with works of the Hudson River School, which he had always loved, he soon moved to Abstract Expressionist painting and to the broader 20th century. Marron collected several artists in depth, including Cy Twombly, Jasper Johns, Agnes Martin, and Ellsworth Kelly.

In keeping with his belief that great contemporary art anticipates society, Marron began a pioneering corporate collection in the 1970s at the brokerage company PaineWebber, where he became CEO in 1980. As he got to know the art world, Marron developed strong relationships with artists, curators, gallerists, and several major institutions, including the Museum of Modern Art, New York. He was elected to the museum’s board in 1975, and served as its President from 1985 to 1991, after which he remained a trustee and President Emeritus. His philanthropy includes his dedication to MoMA as well as a wide range of causes unrelated to the art world.

To accompany the exhibition, Phaidon Press will produce a scholarly volume to illuminate Marron’s collection and celebrate his legacy. The publication will include illustrations of the works and extensive archival material, as well as contributions from scholars, artists, and friends.

Marron enjoyed long personal relationships with Bill Acquavella, Larry Gagosian, and Arne Glimcher, who each contributed to shaping this significant collection over the course of several decades. The collaboration between the three galleries is the first of its kind, and signals a new way for families to handle the sales of their collections with discretion and elegance.

Read more in (opens in a new window) The Wall Street Journal.

*We have taken the decision to postpone the Marron Collection exhibition which was scheduled to open at Pace and Gagosian this spring. Given the current climate of uncertainty, it seems that it will no longer be possible to secure the loans from international private lenders and institutions that would be required to present the true scope and influence of Don Marron’s collection. Our priority is on creating an exhibition that will honor Don to the fullest, and that will celebrate his legacy for local and global audiences.

  • News — Acquavella Galleries, Gagosian and Pace to Handle Sale of Donald B. Marron Family Collection, Feb 19, 2020