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Sale of the Donald B. Marron Family Collection to be handled by Acquavella Galleries, Gagosian and Pace Gallery
Mark Rothko, Number 22 (reds), 1957 © 2020 Kate Rothko Prizel and Christopher Rothko / ARS, New York. Courtesy the Donald B. Marron Family Collection, Acquavella Galleries, Gagosian, and Pace Gallery.

NEW YORK, NY.- In an unprecedented move, Acquavella Galleries, Gagosian and Pace Gallery have joined forces with the Marron family to handle the sale of the Donald B. Marron Family Collection. The collaboration will pay homage to Don Marron’s legacy as one of the 20th- and 21st- century’s most passionate and erudite collectors, a pioneer of corporate collections, a family man, and a dedicated philanthropist. Over the course of six decades, Marron acquired over 300 modern and contemporary masterworks.

In May 2020, the three galleries will organize a joint exhibition in New York to showcase the breadth of the Marron family collection. The exhibition will be divided around three significant phases of Marron’s collecting activities, including his work as a young collector in the 1960s and 1970s, as a museum steward, and as a pioneer in reinventing how corporations build art collections around a singular vision. The exhibition will include works from the family collection as well as loans from institutions.

The Marron family collection includes two major paintings by Pablo Picasso, Femme au beret et la collerette (Woman with Beret and Collar) (March 6, 1937) and Femme assise (Jacqueline) (May 13–June 16, 1962); Mark Rothko’s Number 22 (reds) (1957); Cy Twombly’s Untitled (Camino Real) (2011); paintings by Willem De Kooning and Gerhard Richter, and significant works by Brice Marden, including Complements (2004–2007). Marron also supported generations of rising artists of significance, and the collection reflects this with recent works by Mark Bradford, Mark Grotjahn, and Laura Owens.

While Marron began his collection with works of the Hudson River School, which he had always loved, he soon moved to Abstract Expressionist painting and to the broader 20th century. Marron collected several artists in depth, including Jasper Johns, Ellsworth Kelly, Agnes Martin, and Cy Twombly.

In keeping with his belief that great contemporary art anticipates society, Marron began a pioneering corporate collection in the 1970s at the brokerage company PaineWebber, where he became CEO in 1980. As he got to know the art world, Marron developed strong relationships with artists, curators, gallerists, and several major institutions, including the Museum of Modern Art, New York. He was elected to the museum’s Board in 1975, and served as its President from 1985 to 1991, after which he remained a trustee and President Emeritus. His philanthropy includes his dedication to MoMA as well as a wide range of causes unrelated to the art world.

To accompany the exhibition, Phaidon Press will produce a scholarly volume to illuminate Marron’s collection and celebrate his legacy. The publication will include illustrations of the works and extensive archival material, as well as contributions from scholars, artists, and friends.

Marron enjoyed long personal relationships with Bill Acquavella, Larry Gagosian, and Arne Glimcher, who each contributed to shaping this significant collection over the course of several decades. The collaboration between the three galleries is the first of its kind, and signals a new way for families to handle the sales of their collections.

Marc Glimcher, President and CEO of Pace Gallery, says: “Through this collaboration we are creating an occasion to honor Don’s work as a pioneering collector, and to commemorate 60 years of connoisseurship. The project will also celebrate the lifelong relationships that can develop between collectors and dealers, and the role our galleries have played in supporting Marron’s vision. Acquavella, Gagosian and Pace share a heritage in our deep roots within the New York community, so it is fitting to honor one of this city’s major players through this unique collaboration. We are deeply committed to the family and to finding great placement for the masterworks that Don loved so much.”

Bill Acquavella of Acquavella Galleries, says: “I first met Don when he came into my gallery in the early 1970s. It was quite clear to me that Don had a special sensitivity for collecting and appreciating fine art. Over the years Don not only became a valued client, but a great friend. We are excited to be part of this partnership that will help honor his family and his legacy.”

Larry Gagosian, Founder of Gagosian, says: “Don was a true visionary and one of the most forward-thinking collectors of his time. In our many years of working together, he would frequently see something in a work of art that others did not, and the outcome is an unparalleled collection that encapsulates a defining moment in the history of modern and contemporary art. I am delighted that our gallery is forming this collaboration with Pace and Acquavella as we honor Don’s inspired legacy as we introduce this exceptional selection of artworks from his personal collection.”

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