Fayez Sarofim, who was born in Egypt and was at one time married to Louisa Stude Sarofim (who has also appeared on the ARTnews “Top 200 Collectors” list), has amassed a formidable collection that includes pieces by heavyweights like Robert Motherwell, Willem de Kooning, Robert Rauschenberg, Jasper Johns, Mary Cassatt, Eugène Delacroix, Roy Lichtenstein, Pablo Picasso, and El Greco. He was born into money but has spent his life working to build his fortune through investment management. His investing philosophy? “People always look for the needle in the haystack,” he told Barron’s in 2013. “Why not buy the haystack?” His purchases include blue-chip stocks (which he held for long periods during his career) and a chunk of the Houston Texans football team. In 2018, Forbes estimated his wealth at $1.5 billion and noted that he has pledged $70 million for the redesign of the Museum of Fine Art, Houston.

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Fayez Sarofim


Source of wealth:
Investment counseling

Collecting area:
19th-century American art; Coptic art; Modern and contemporary art; Old Masters

Top 200 appearance:
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Fun fact:

Sarofim’s nickname is “The Sphinx.” The name is a reference not only to his Egyptian origins but also his aura of serenity and wisdom.