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Top 200 Collectors

Amy and John Phelan

Amy and John Phelan

Aspen, Colorado; Palm Beach, Florida

Investments (MSD Capital)

Contemporary art

Overview

John Phelan owned a few pieces of art before he met his wife, Amy, but it wasn’t until they married that the couple got started on building their collection. In a 2008 W magazine article, Amy Cappellazzo, then the international cohead of postwar and contemporary art at Christie’s auction house, described the Phelans’ taste in art as “brave … a celebration of the sexual side of life with a sense of humor.” Their collection, which is displayed at their Colorado and Florida homes, includes works by Andreas Gursky, Lisa Yuskavage, Cindy Sherman, Richard Prince, Jenny Holzer, Marilyn Minter, and others. The living room floor of their airy Aspen home, designed by Manhattan-based architecture firm Stonefox Architects, reportedly is an artwork unto itself—it’s a mirrored surface by artist Walead Beshty. An exclusive few are granted a tour of the collection. The Phelans credit Glenn Fuhrman, also on the ARTnews Top 200 Collectors list, for inspiring their interest in contemporary art.

Since 2006, the couple has hosted WineCrush, a ticketed tasting event held at their Colorado estate. Past attendees have included Kris Jenner, Whitney Museum director Adam Weinberg, and artists Will Cotton and Lorna Simpson. The Phelans also own several works by artist and photographer Marilyn Minter that were inspired by Amy herself. Minter has previously called Amy, a former Dallas Cowboys cheerleader, one of her muses. “I had literally been stopping people in the street looking for lips like [hers],” Minter told W.  The Phelans split their time between New York, London, and Palm Beach, and Aspen. The Colorado city they call home has been an important site for their philanthropic endeavors: they have been a big supporter of the Shigeru Ban–designed Aspen Art Museum.

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