‘Eventually all these objects which have brought so much pleasure to Peggy and me will go out into the world and will again be available to other caretakers who, hopefully, will derive the same satisfaction and joy from them as we have over these past several decades.’
— David Rockefeller 1992
Gathered over a lifetime and handed down from previous generations, The Collection of Peggy and David Rockefeller reflects the family’s enduring passion for Impressionist, American and Asian art; English and European decorative art; and Chinese, Japanese, Korean and European porcelain. Today, through numerous philanthropic and civic endeavors, the Rockefellers continue to promote research, sustainability, and development throughout the Asian continent and around the world. All estate proceeds from the sales will benefit selected charities that Peggy and David supported in their lifetime.
Christie’s is honoured to partner with VistaJet, our sponsor of the Rockefeller exhibitions and events.
Doyenne of decor Martha Stewart discusses her pick from the collection, and shares her memories of David Rockefeller
American Art specialist William Haydock salutes ‘one of David Rockefeller’s most cherished paintings’
Virgilio Garza, Head of Latin American Paintings, recounts the colourful story of this masterpiece by the great Mexican artist
Specialist Elizabeth Beaman on a 1931 Georgia O’Keeffe that connects four of the most important women in 20th-century art
Sara Friedlander on a painting that reflected David Rockefeller’s love for ‘the art of his time’
Why Christie’s Global President Jussi Pylkkänen considers this ‘one of the greatest Matisse paintings ever to come to the market’
Specialist Carleigh Queenth admires a Sèvres porcelain service commissioned by Napoleon I
What these porcelain pups reveal about trade with China, and the family’s love of animals
How the first director of MoMA influenced David Rockefeller’s outstanding collection of paintings
As the tour of the collection reaches London, a look back at the family’s deep passion for British culture and craftsmanship
An exclusive video tour of these stately residences, from Manhattan to Maine, with further insights from family historian Peter J. Johnson
How one family has led the way in preserving the nation’s natural and cultural heritage
Stay up to date on all of the latest news about The Collection of Peggy and David Rockefeller. Everything from behind-the-scenes moments, to exquisite lots, to historical ties — even a candid childhood photograph or two. We’ll be sharing information about the sale and this storied collection. The Rockefellers continue their long legacy of philanthropy by committing the Estate's proceeds to benefit charities.
About the lot
Painted in 1905, this Picasso was bought the same year by the collector and writer Gertrude Stein and her brother Leo. It stayed in the Stein collection until 1968 when it was bought by Mr. and Mrs. David Rockefeller. It had pride of place in the library of their 65th Street home in New York.
An important Nice period painting the Odalisque couchée aux magnolias perfectly illustrates Matisse’s use of textiles, fruit and flowers as part of an overall composition. The model here is Henriette Darricarrère, a favourite of the artist.
The Gare St. Lazare paintings record the rapid industrialization of Paris and reiterate the importance of the railway as part of that process. The artist has painted this canvas deep in the railway cutting, with workers looking towards a train shunting in a tunnel.
Demonstrating the cubist artist’s ability, La table conjures solid objects from gouache, wax crayon, charcoal and collage. Although Picasso and Braque also used these techniques Gris is regarded as the ‘master of form’.
These small still lifes date from the end of Manet’s career and are the culmination of his abilities as a painter. Lilas et roses was inherited by David Rockefeller from his mother, Abby Aldrich Rockefeller who hung it in her dressing room at 12 West 54th St. The house later became the site for the Museum of Modern Art.
Part of an extensive service made at Sèvres for the Emperor Napoleon 1er. Other parts of the service are on view at the Château at Fontainebleau outside Paris.
These tureens reflect the interest in the natural world central to the scientific explorations of the eighteenth century. These would have been talking points when used as part of a table setting with their natural forms and their ladles formed as fish or eels holding shells.
Painted on Sargent’s last trip to Venice where he stayed with his friends the Curtis’ at Palazzo Barbaro. This picture captures an elegiac view of Venice painted on the Grand Canal early in the morning. The liquid gold of the sun flies across the surface of the oily Venetian water.
Delacroix studied the wild animals at the Paris zoo in the Jardin des Plantes on the south bank of the Seine. The powerful figure of the tiger is clearly drawn from life, exhibiting the muscular strength of this magnificent beast.
Characteristic of the Irish style of goldsmithing, the box which fits neatly in the surface of one’s hand reflects the honor of the Freedom of Dublin.
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VistaJet is the first and only global aviation company. On its fleet of silver and red business jets, VistaJet has flown corporations, governments and private clients to 187 countries worldwide. Founded in 2004 by Thomas Flohr, the company pioneered an innovative business model where customers pay only for the hours they fly, free of the responsibilities and asset risks linked to aircraft ownership. VistaJet’s signature Program service offers customers a bespoke subscription of flight hours on its fleet of mid and long-range jets, to fly them anywhere and at any time.
VistaJet is delighted to offer Christie’s clients three innovative ways to experience the exhibitions of The Collection of Peggy and David Rockefeller in Hong Kong, London, Los Angeles and New York.
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‘[David Rockefeller] considered each of these institutions to be “centers of excellence” — a principal focus for the first three Rockefeller generations — and essential sources of talent, stability and innovation.’
— Peter J. Johnson, Rockefeller Family Historian and Senior Associate
As a fitting tribute to the life and legacy of both Peggy and David Rockefeller, Christie’s is pleased to highlight several of the institutions the couple believed in most deeply. All Estate proceeds from the sales will benefit selected charities that Peggy and David supported in their lifetime.
Christie's Magazine: The Collection of Peggy and David Rockefeller
A special edition of Christie’s Magazine has been published to mark the sale of the Rockefeller Collection in New York this spring. It is devoted to the varied aspects of the Rockefellers’ achievement, which over four generations has altered the face of New York, left its mark on America, and changed the world in countless ways.
For more on the exclusive interviews, photographs from the Rockefeller family archive, highlights from the historic sale or to buy your copy of the publication today, click below.