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 built in 2006 by Rales and his wife, Emily, a former Gladstone Gallery director who serves as Glenstone’s director.

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Emily and Mitchell Rales

New York; Potomac, Maryland

Source of wealth:
Tool industry

Collecting area:
Modern and contemporary art

Top 200 appearance:
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Fun fact:

Why would Mitchell Rales dedicate over $125 million to adding a second building to Glenstone? “I don’t want to be the richest guy in the cemetery,” he told the New York Times.