Sabine and Hasso Plattner
Software (SAP AG Software Company)
Hasso Plattner, a German billionaire, famously left the technology company IBM in the 1970s to form his own software business, SAP—an acronym that stands for “Systems, Applications, Products.” Plattner loves paintings by East German artists. He favors the Leipzig School in particular, and major names in his collection include Wolfgang Mattheuer, Werner Tübke, Bernhard Heisig, Willi Sitte, Ulrich Hachulla, Erich Kissing, Hartwig Ebersbach, Arno Rink, and Michael Triegel. In 2004 he founded the Hasso Plattner Institute of Design at Stanford University, focused on producing creative solutions to complex design-related challenges.
In May 2019, after eight minutes of intense bidding, one of Monet’s 1890 “Meules” paintings hammered for $110.7 million, making it the most high-priced Impressionist work ever sold at auction. The buyer, at the time, was unknown, but industry sources said that the couple who placed the winning bid was on a multimillion-dollar buying spree on behalf Plattner, who, in addition to buying German art, is well-known to collect big-ticket Impressionist art, by the likes of Claude Monet, Pierre-Auguste Renoir, and Alfred Sisley. (Plattner has publicly denied buying the Monet.) The month before the auction took place, Plattner announced that the long-shuttered Communist-era restaurant Minsk in Potsdam, Germany, will be the location for a new museum for his collection. It will be the second institution operated by Plattner in the city, after the Barberini Museum, and opening it will be no small undertaking—building the museum requires reconstructing the facade and renovating the interior. “We are getting short of space in the Barberini,” Plattner told the Art Newspaper. “The Minsk would convert well into a museum.”