Known for keeping a low profile, John S. Middleton is the owner of the Philadelphia Phillies, the Major League Baseball team. In the business world, Middleton is most famous for the $2.9 billion sale of his family’s cigar company, John Middleton Company, in 2007. The details surrounding Middleton’s collecting interests are shadowy, but one sale hints at Middleton’s art-market power. In 2010, the Economist reported that there was speculation that a representative for Middleton may have purchased Jasper Johns’s Flag (1960–66) for $28.6 million in a Christie’s auction of work owned by the writer Michael Crichton (who appeared on the ARTnews Top 200 from 2006 to 2008).
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