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Billionaire Art Collector Sheldon Solow dies at 92

Prominent art collector and real-estate mogul Sheldon H. Solow died on Tuesday at New York’s Cornell Medical Centre. His death at the age of 92, first reported by Bloomberg, was said to be due to lymphoma.

Sheldon Solow was one of the most well-known names in American real estate business, especially in New York. His vast portfolio in the district include some rental buildings, an office space named after himself, and one of the largest development grounds in New York at the Midtown East. Solow’s real estate career, which began in the 1950s, ultimately led his net worth to $3.1 billion. Solow made headlines in 2000s when he joined hands with Fisher real estate to expand development projects across Manhattan. The $600 million winning bid would soon turn into a legal battle between the two partners.

Solow Art and Architecture Foundation

But apart from being a real-estate tycoon, Solow was also an avid art admirer. He founded the non-profit, Solow Art and Architecture Foundation, which was valued at $217 million in 2017. The organization, located at Solow’s own 9 West 57th Street building, provided funding for artistic and educational causes, as well as house some works from Solow’s collection. Some of the most expensive works in his collections included a Botticelli portrait ($84 million), a Joan Miró triptych ($60 million), and a Van Gogh ($40 million). Other artists that could be found in his collection (in past and present) includes Roy Lichtenstein, Jean-Michel Basquiat, Henri Matisse, Henry Moore, Balthus and Alexej von Jawlensky.

Sheldon Solow was born in Brooklyn in 1928 to a bricklayer father. After graduating in 1949, he began his real estate career alongside his father. In recent years, Solow gave away many works from his collection in auctions, like the record-breaking Alberto Giacometti sculpture sold for $141.3 million at Christie’s in 2015.