It’s been a huge week for Marilyn Monroe, even though she’s been dead for almost 60 years.
Last Monday, Kim Kardashian squeezed into Monroe’s famous dress that she wore to sing Happy Birthday Mr. President to John F. Kennedy, and last night a painting of her by Andy Warhol brought in about as much money as it cost to build Chicago’s Sears Tower.
It’s the uber-famous silkscreen by Warhol of Marilyn called Shot Sage Blue Marilyn. Warhol created it in 1964, and it was on the lot last night at Christie’s, and let’s just say someone wanted that painting very badly.
It became the most expensive piece of American artwork to sell at auction, going for a staggering $195 million to art dealer Larry Gagosian, who was present in the room for the auction.
This iconic piece was consigned by the Thomas and Doris Amman Foundation. Thomas was an art dealer who died of AIDS back in 1993. That’s when his sister Doris took over the gallery and ran it until she died a year ago.
The proceeds from the sale will go to charity, with every penny being devoted to healthcare and educational programs.
The auction was exciting; the final item on the docket that included a total of 35 lots. Everyone knew this piece would command a huge price tag, as the presale estimate was $200 million, but the auctioneer started much lower at $110 million, which a handful of bidders pushing the bids up by $10 million increments.
This will go down as the second most expensive piece of artwork sold privately – well behind the all-time high of $450 million that was paid for a Leonardo da Vinci according to a story in Bloomberg.