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Top 200 Collectors

Betty and Isaac Rudman

Betty and Isaac Rudman

Dominican Republic

Imports and manufacturing (home appliances)

Latin American art; Numismatics; Pre-Columbian art

Overview

Betty and Isaac Rudman, who split their time between Santo Domingo and Miami, made their money importing and manufacturing home appliances. They collect Latin American art, rare coins, and pre-Columbian art, showcasing 150 pieces between their three residences, in addition to over 250 more works of art in storage in Miami. (A few were lent to an ambassador’s residence in Santo Domingo.) They own paintings by Vicente Escobar, Amelia Pelàez, and Wilfredo Lam as well as many other celebrated Latin American artists, and they told ARTnews they consider the most valuable work in their collection to be Lam’s 1943, Le Sombre Malmebo, Dieu Du Carrefour (valued on the market for between $12 million and 15 million). 

That painting was joined recently by several more paintings by Lam—the couple spent approximately $1.5 million last year on Lam alone, for a total count of 29 notable works by the artist. Years ago the couple built an entire new house to store their works that would, in time, prove too cramped for their expansive holdings. And in 2015 Heritage Auctions presented “The Isaac Rudman Collection of Mexican Coins, Part I,” one of the finest groupings of colonial Mexican coins ever assembled, as part of its World and Ancient Coins auction at the American Numismatic Association Convention in Chicago. “Isaac is one of the greatest collectors of Latino/Caribbean coins, artifacts, documents, currency and fine art to ever live,” said Cristiano Bierrenbach, Heritage’s vice president. 

Whatever his love for coins, when asked by ARTnews to name the most sentimental piece currently in his collection, the answer came easily: “La Perla (1950) by Rufino Tamayo,” he said. His reasoning? “My mother’s name was Perla.”

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