Hedge Fund Billionaire Buys ‘The Scream’ for $119.9 Million

July 16, 2012 Debbie Jacobs In the News

According to a recent report by the Wall Street Journal, the anonymous winner of Edward Munch’s The Scream in a May auction was New York billionaire Leon Black. Sold for $119.9 million, the hedge fund manager’s bid was the highest ever recorded at an auction.

The Wall Street Journal explained: “Mr. Black is one of a handful of billionaires whose lavish art spending has transformed the international art market in recent years, fueling the proliferation of art fairs and ratcheting up prices for all sorts of artworks. His $750 million collection already includes drawings by Vincent van Gogh and Raphael, watercolors by J.M.W. Turner, cubist paintings by Pablo Picasso and ancient Chinese bronzes. Three years ago, Mr. Black paid Christie’s $47.6 million for a Raphael chalk drawing, ‘Head of a Muse’, a record auction price at the time for a work on paper.”

Since 2010, the global art market has been on the rise. According to ArtPrice.com, “Art in fact sold better in 2011 than at any other time in history with $11.57 billion in total global annual revenue, up $2 billion versus 2010, which already produced the best performance of the decade.

In 2011, the high-end market displayed an extraordinary dynamism. No fewer than 1,675 artworks sold above the $1 million threshold (including 59 above the $10 million threshold) representing a 32% increase of 7-figure (or more) auction sales versus 2010 and an increase of 493% versus the start of the decade!”


Apollo Global Management, Art Sales, Edward Munch, hedge fund managers, Leon Black,

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