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Top 200 Collectors

Alexandra and Steven A. Cohen

Alexandra and Steven A. Cohen

Greenwich, Connecticut

Investments

Contemporary art; Impressionism; Modern art

Overview

Alexandra and Steven A. Cohen began collecting art in 2000. Since that time, they have reportedly spent more than $1 billion on their immense collection, which includes world-class works by Willem de Kooning, Andy Warhol, Pablo Picasso, Jasper Johns, Jeff Koons, and Jackson Pollock, among many others. The sum they’ve reportedly spent is but a drop in the bucket for the hedge fund manager, whose net worth is estimated by Forbes to be over $13 billion, however. When it comes to acquiring art, “I am purely from the gut,” Cohen told Fortune. “And I know right away. If it stays in my brain—let’s say I go see a picture, if I keep thinking about it, I know it’s something I like. If I forget about it, then I know, couldn’t care less.” 

In 2015, Steven was revealed to be the buyer of Alberto Giacometti’s L’Homme au doigt (1947) one of the most expensive works ever sold at auction. Included in their collection is Damien Hirst’s The Physical Impossibility of Death in the Mind of Someone Living (1991)—a giant shark floating in formaldehyde that is perhaps the British artist’s most iconic work. The Cohens have also given millions to the Metropolitan Museum of Art, El Museo del Barrio, the Guggenheim Museum, the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, and, most recently, the Museum of Modern Art, to which they donated $50 million toward an expansion. Over the years, Steve has been known to part with key works from his collection—in November 2015, for instance, he sold a Warhol “Mao” painting at a Sotheby’s auction for over $47 million.

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