David Rockefeller Jr.’s favorite Matisse selling at Christie’s auction

Wealth


The painting could sell for more than $90 million.

David Jr. says that while he’s sad to see it go, he and the rest of the Rockefellers take comfort in knowing the proceeds will fund good causes, from the Museum of Modern Art and the Council on Foreign Relations to Rockefeller University and the various Rockefeller philanthropies.

The auction is a result of his father David Rockefeller’s will. As a signer of the Giving Pledge, David, the last surviving grandson of Standard Oil tycoon John D. Rockefeller, vowed to give the bulk of his wealth to charity upon his death, stating that “those who have benefited most from our nation’s economic system have a special responsibility to give back.”

While much of his fortune — estimated by Forbes at $3.3 billion — was in trusts that have now been passed down to his kids and grandkids, David’s will stated that the vast majority of his assets, including all his homes and personal items, would be sold off for charity. As part of his will, his children were each allowed to take up to $1 million worth of his personal property as a gift. If they wanted anything beyond that, or an item with a higher value, they had to purchase it at fair market value. This provision, according to the will, would “enable each of my children to select items which are particularly meaningful to him or her.”

Though David Jr. didn’t choose to keep “Odaslique,” he says, “I hope whoever buys it, that they invite me to come visit.”

It’s likely that whoever goes home with the Rockefeller Matisse would be delighted to give David Jr. occasional visitation rights.

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