Robbi and Bruce E. Toll
Palm Beach, Florida; Rydal, Pennsylvania
Luxury homes (Toll Brothers)
Robbi and Bruce E. Toll rank among the foremost collectors of Impressionist and post-Impressionist art. Bruce Toll made his money building luxury homes with his brother Robert and, with his wife Robbi, spends a considerable amount of it on art. Over the years, the couple has amassed an impressive multi-focus collection that includes Elizabethan and Jacobean painting, Impressionist and Post-Impressionist works, 20th-century sculpture, and hallmarks of American art. The Tolls are also active in the museum world. Bruce is a member of the board of trustees of the Philadelphia Museum of Art, and Robbi has served on the board of trustees of the National Museum of American Jewish History in Philadelphia. They have also provided funds for art on display at the Barnes Foundation, the Philadelphia institution devoted to the storied collection of Alfred C. Barnes and other artwork exhibited in its midst.
Asked by ARTnews about the most valuable of the 200 pieces in their collection, they cited Gustave Caillebotte’s 1878 painting Baigneurs appretant à plonger, bords de l’Yerres—an intriguing depiction of a group of boys swimming, with one spied from a skewed perspective who appears ready to dive into the water (and off of the canvas). The Tolls acquired it 1992, one year after it failed to sell at auction with a high estimate of $710,000 (and five years after it had sold at Christie’s London for $633,904 in 1987). This past February, Caillebotte’s record at auction was set by a different work, Chemin montant (1881), that sold at Christie’s London for $22.2 million.