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Top 200 Collectors

Black-and-white portrait of white man with a sculpture.
Reed Hoffmann/AP/Shutterstock

David Booth

Austin, Texas

Investments (Dimensional Fund Advisors)

Contemporary art


David Booth likes having art in his office. Looking around at the works by the American abstract painter Frederick Hammersley, Booth told the New York Times in 2013, “It makes me look clever.” 

Over the years, the Texas fund manager has built a reputation based on philanthropy, avid collecting, and the application of academic theory to his investments. The results speak for themselves: Dimensional Fund Advisors, which he cofounded in 1981, now manages more than $500 billion in assets. Forbes has estimated his net worth at around $1.6 billion. In 2018, he announced that he would sign onto the Giving Pledge, an initiative cofounded in 2010 by billionaires Bill Gates and Warren Buffet, that would see Booth donating over half his wealth to various charitable organizations. One high-profile donation came in 2008 with a $300 million gift to the University of Chicago, the largest gift in the institution’s history.

Among some of Booth’s notable acquisitions, made together when his then-wife, fellow Top 200 collector Suzanne Deal Booth, are Gerhard Richter’s 1992 painting Abstraktes Bild 757, David Hockney’s 2006 Steep Valley, Kirkby Underdale, 13, July, 2006, and an untitled 2001 sculpture by Anish Kapoor was installed in their Austin home. When the couple split up, they didn’t announce how exactly their collection would be split up, though each has continued to actively acquire new works. 

David Booth has been an active patron of art conservation efforts. In 1998 he created the Friends of Heritage Preservation, a preservation task force that undertakes a wide array of undertake from entire historical sites to single artworks. In 2002 he and his family established the Booth Family Rome Prize Fellowship for Historic Preservation and Conservation at the American Academy in Rome, which is awarded annually. The Museum of Modern Art’s Conservation Fellowship Initiative, which launched in 2018, was also made possible through his David Booth Conservation Center Endowment Fund.