Aby J. Rosen has been collecting art since he was eleven years old, when he borrowed $200 from his father to buy a Robert Mapplethorpe photograph from a gallery in his hometown of Frankfurt, Germany. Since then, his collection has grown to include works by artists such as Jean-Michel Basquiat, Alexander Calder, Damien Hirst, Richard Prince, and Jeff Koons, as well as more than 100 works by Andy Warhol. His interest in postwar material culture also extends to architecture, and Rosen’s real-estate company, RFR Holdings, owns both Philip Johnson’s Seagram Building and Gordon Bunshaft’s Lever House. In 2003, Rosen founded the Lever House Art Collection—an initiative that invites contemporary artists to design works specifically for the Lever House lobby—with private dealer Alberto Mugrabi.

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Aby J. Rosen

New York and Southampton, New York

Source of wealth:
Real estate

Collecting area:
Modern and contemporary art; contemporary photography

Top 200 appearance:
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Fun fact:

“I wake up every morning and I think, ‘You know what, I’m a lucky bastard,’ ” Rosen once told the New York Times.