Throughout the course of his life, Mr. Whitehead was celebrated for his many achievements in business, politics and philanthropy, having served as the Chairman of Goldman Sachs and as a Deputy Secretary of State, but he was also well-known for his passionate interest in art at the highest level.
After purchasing an Amedeo Modigliani drawing at a London auction on a whim, Mr. Whitehead began to amass a comprehensive collection that developed over the course of his life. With the help of his friend and dealer, Achim Moeller, he acquired paintings, sculpture and works on paper, focusing on the works of major artists of the 19th and 20th centuries, including Edgar Degas, Gustave Courbet, Paul Gauguin, Pablo Picasso, Auguste Rodin, Edouard Manet and Henri Matisse.
Led by Modigliani’s intimate Portrait de Beatrice Hastings—his muse and mistress at the time—and Monet’s transcendent study of light and landscape, Paysage de matin (Giverny), this collection also includes Mr. Whitehead’s favorite work, Renoir’s Portrait of Andre Bérard, a pastel of diminutive size depicting a simple portrait of a boy. Its appeal to the collector affirms his personal attachment to all the works in his collection: “There is such innocence to the boy. Is that my inner self? A happy memory of when my own children were young? I don’t know.” The personal selections of this sale represent a man whose passion and dedication illuminated every aspect of his illustrious life.