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Two Billion Dollars and the Stunning Art Collection of Heidi Horten

Art Collection of Heidi Horten
Roy Lichtenstein, Forest scene, 1980 © Courtesy Heidi Horten Collection © Roy Lichtenstein Foundation

20th century

Two Billion Dollars and the Stunning Art Collection of Heidi Horten

She met her husband in a hotel bar. She was 19, he was 32 years her senior and a founder of the fourth-largest German department store business, Horten AG. They got married, moved to Switzerland and lived together a happy and slightly exuberant lifestyle. Heidi Horten, an Austrian billionaire, inherited her fortune upon the death of her husband in 1987 and the money allowed her to run various philanthropic initiatives as well as amass an enormous and extremely diverse art collection.

Edvard Munch, Self-portrait against two-coloured background, 1904 © Courtesy Heidi Horten Collection; Art Collection of Heidi Horten

Edvard Munch, Self-portrait against two-coloured background, 1904 © Courtesy Heidi Horten Collection

 

Francis Bacon, Study for portrait of Henrietta Moraes, 1964 © Courtesy Heidi Horten Collection © The Estate of Francis Bacon, All rights reserved / Bildrecht, Wien, 2018; Art Collection of Heidi Horten

Francis Bacon, Study for portrait of Henrietta Moraes, 1964 © Courtesy Heidi Horten Collection © The Estate of Francis Bacon, All rights reserved / Bildrecht, Wien, 2018

Heidi’s net worth has been established in 2018 as 3.2 billion USD and it is manifested in such investments as a private jet BAC 1-11, a series of private yachts (such as 315 foot long the Carinthia VII), and villas in Mülheim an der Ruhr Croglio, Lyford Cay in the Bahamas, the Wörthersee in Austria, and a penthouse in Vienna. In 2008 she sold the 35.56 carat Wittelsbach Diamond that had before belonged to the crown jewels of Bavaria.

August Macke, Two women in front of a hat shop, 1913 © Courtesy Heidi Horten Collection; Art Collection of Heidi Horten

August Macke, Two women in front of a hat shop, 1913 © Courtesy Heidi Horten Collection

 

Max Pechstein, Yellow Mask II, 1910 © Courtesy Heidi Horten Collection © Pechstein Hamburg/Tökendorf/ Bildrecht, Wien, 2018; Art Collection of Heidi Horten

Max Pechstein, Yellow Mask II, 1910 © Courtesy Heidi Horten Collection © Pechstein Hamburg/Tökendorf/ Bildrecht, Wien, 2018

Heidi began collecting around the 1990s inspired by her late husband’s collection of German Expressionists. She developed her collection primarily according to her personal taste, but with time she also tried to purchase works which could ‘interact’ with other categories of works. Today her collection features approximately 500 paintings, graphic works, and sculptures by world-class artists providing a comprehensive cross-section of 100 years of global art history.

Gustav Klimt, Church i Unterach am Attersee, 1916 © Courtesy Heidi Horten Collection; Art Collection of Heidi Horten

Gustav Klimt, Church in Unterach am Attersee, 1916 © Courtesy Heidi Horten Collection

Paul Klee, Siblings, 1930 © Courtesy Heidi Horten Collection; Art Collection of Heidi Horten

Paul Klee, Siblings, 1930 © Courtesy Heidi Horten Collection

Apart from the Expressionists (Ernst Ludwig Kirchner, Franz Marc, August Macke), the largest groups of works fall into the category of postwar American Art (Roy Lichtenstein, Robert Rauschenberg, Gerhard Richter, Mark Rothko, Andy Warhol, Jean-Michel Basquiat). However, she also owns works by other artists like Egon Schiele, Gustav Klimt, Marc Chagall, Paul Klee, Henri Matisse, Joan Miro, Edvard Munch, Pablo Picasso,  Francis Bacon, Georg Baselitz, Jean Dubuffet, Lucio Fontana, Lucian Freud, Damien Hirst, Alex Katz, Yves Klein

 

 

Magda, art historian and Italianist, she writes about art because she cannot make it herself. She loves committed and political artists like Ai Weiwei or the Futurists; like Joseph Beuys she believes that art can change us and we can change the world.

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