Mitchell Rales has been media-shy since 1985, when a Forbes article labeled him and his brother Steven as “raiders in short pants.” Shortly after then, Rales began collecting contemporary art, and his appreciation appears to be personal in nature. As Rales told the New York Times in 2012, “Back in the 1940s and ’50s artists like de Kooning and Pollock were considered outcasts and revolutionaries. My brother and I were seen as two upstarts in a world of older CEOs.” Works by de Kooning and Pollock, as well as Jasper Johns, Ellsworth Kelly, John Baldessari, Robert Rauschenberg, and Felix Gonzalez-Torres, among many others, now bless the collection of Glenstone, the private museum in Maryland initated in 2006 and expanded in grand fashion in 2018 by Rales and his wife, Emily, a former Gladstone Gallery director who serves as Glenstone’s director. During the May 2019 auctions in New York, the couple snapped up Lee Krasner’s The Eye is the First Circle (1960) for Glenstone, which went for $11.7 million and shattered the artist’s previous record at auction.
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