Julie and Edward J. Minskoff
A longtime figure in the world of New York real-estate development, Edward J. Minskoff and his wife, Julie, have built a 700-piece collection with no fewer than 19 works by Pablo Picasso, including their most treasured acquisition, his La guenon et son petit (1951). They also own pieces by Willem de Kooning, Jackson Pollock, Jasper Johns, Jean-Michel Basquiat, Roy Lichtenstein, and contemporary figures including Damien Hirst and Jeff Koons. Their Koons collection is among the world’s largest; the Minskoffs reinforced the ceiling of their home with steel beams to accommodate his 300-pound hanging sculpture Titi (Tire). One of the most valuable works in their collection, Koons’s colossal Balloon Rabbit (Red), has sat proudly in the lobby of 51 Astor Place in Manhattan, a building developed by Edward’s firm, Edward J. Minskoff Equities.
Recent acquisitions include pieces like Koons’s Elephant (2003), Mark Grotjahn’s 2018 Untitled (Free Capri 50.42), KAWS’s THE BLUFF (2019), and Jennifer Guidi’s Navigating Through the Unseen (Root), 2019–20. Edward’s reputation in the business realm is formidable; throughout his career his company has developed or acquired roughly 40 million square feet of commercial and residential real estate. “To say that Edward Minskoff is a developer,” the New York Sun suggested in 2006, “would be like saying Picasso was a painter.” He caught the art bug from his mother. “I was exposed to art from an early age because of her,” he told the Sun. “Besides being a sculptor working with stone and clay, she was a collector. Perhaps that’s why I’m a builder with an artistic sensibility.”