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Top 200 Collectors

Black-and-white portrait of a middle-aged white
DAVID CROTTY/Patrick McMullan via Getty Images

Jeff Markley

Boston

Telecommunications (The Markley Group)

Postwar art

Overview

Upon entering the offices of the Markley Group, a data center founded by Jeff Markley and based in Boston, you’ll see painted portraits of every employee. The artist behind these works is Ray Turner, whose work the collector has long taken an interest in. In 2014, for example, Markley revealed that he’d donated work by Turner to the Alexandria Museum of Art in Louisiana, the Huntington Museum of Art in Virginia, and the Wichita Art Museum in Kansas, in an attempt to “celebrate the arts,” the Markley Group said at the time.

Though decorating the offices is something that has been done by many of the recent history’s greatest art collectors, including Donald B. Marron, who built what is now known as the UBS Art Collection and numbers over 30,000 objects, Markley is much more private about his personal art collection. Insiders tell ARTnews that he has a predilection for well-known artists of the postwar era, in particular ones from the U.S., such as the great Abstract Expressionists. He’s also apparently a fan of a generation of post-conceptualists that includes market titans like Christopher Wool. Recently, Markely has been on a bit of a buying spree—the contents of which, of course, are largely kept under wraps, except by those in the know.

On the business side of things, Markley founded the Markley Group in 1991. With 920,000 square feet of space, the data center serves other telecommunications companies, as well as those in the entertainment, technology, and science industries. The company also owns another data center in Lowell, Massachusetts. In October 2020, the company announced that it won the contract to host Google Cloud Interconnect in New England, which will allow “customers to bypass third parties and gain a direct, private link to Google Cloud through Markley’s Boston and Lowell, Massachusetts data centers,” according to a release.

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