‘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.
Rebecca Wei, President of Christie’s Asia, explains why this late painting has such good feng shui
Specialists Elizabeth Beaman and Sara Friedlander pick out highlights, including works by Porter, O’Keeffe and de Kooning
Loic Gouzer reveals his personal connections to a painting described as ‘one of the most original seascapes in Western art’
William Robinson admires an enigmatic incense burner that reflects the Rockefellers’ interest and philanthropy in the Holy Land
The New York City-based interior designer selects his favourite pieces from the collection
Daphne Lingon, Head of Jewellery in New York, on the ‘dramatic’ ring with which David Rockefeller proposed to Peggy in 1940
The Rockefellers so loved this image of a dancer that two generations of the family acquired two different plates of the same print
International Head of Antiquities G. Max Bernheimer explains why David Rockefeller loved this 3,400-year old Egyptian portrait
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 18th 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.
19th and 20th Century Art, Evening Sale *
8 May, 7pm
English and European Furniture, Ceramics and Decorations, Part I
9 May, 10am
Art of the Americas, Evening Sale *
9 May, 7pm
Fine Art, Day Sale
10 May, 10am
* Ticket required for sale entry.
English and European Furniture, Ceramics and Decorations, Part II
10 May, approx. 12:30pm
Travel and Americana
10 May, approx. 7pm
Online Only Auction
1-11 May, bidding opens at 10am
20 Rockefeller Plaza
New York, New York
+1 212 636 2000
Viewing the Rockefeller Collection
Reservations are required for the New York exhibition.
Preferred access is available to clients with an existing Christie's account.
Saturday 28 April, 11am – 4pm
Sunday 29 April, 1pm – 4pm
Monday 30 April, 11am – 4pm
Tuesday 1 May, 11am – 4 pm
Wednesday 2 May, 11am – 4pm
Thursday 3 May, 11am – 4pm
Friday 4 May, 11am – 4pm
Saturday 5 May, 11am – 4pm
Sunday 6 May, 1pm – 4pm
Monday 7 May, 11am – 4pm
Tuesday 8 May, 10am – 12pm
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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.
The Collection of Peggy and David Rockefeller Gallery Guide and Catalogues
A Collector’s Edition ‘keepsake’ Gallery Guide is available for purchase, including thumbnail images and a brief description of every lot in the sale. This publication includes both live auction and online-only sale items in one volume.
Six beautifully illustrated catalogues, one for each live auction in The Collection of Peggy and David Rockefeller, are now available for purchase. Volumes include 19th and 20th Century Art, Evening Sale; English and European Furniture, Ceramics and Decorations, Part I; Art of the Americas, Evening Sale; Fine Art, Day Sale; English and European Furniture, Ceramics and Decorations, Part II and Travel and Americana. Please note that fine art works are included in every volume.
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.
‘[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.
From Our Walls to Yours in Augmented Reality
For your enhanced viewing this season, we invite you to explore artworks from The Collection of Peggy and David Rockefeller in augmented reality. Simply download Christie’s mobile app on iOS 11 and an iPhone 6s or above, and browse the special lots marked with an augmented reality icon. From the palm of your hand, you can "live like a Rockefeller" and envision works by Claude Monet, Pablo Picasso, Henri Matisse, Diego Rivera, Willem de Kooning, Edward Hopper and more in the context of your own home. The cutting-edge technology provides an immersive visual experience and a hyper-real view of every brushstroke and intimate detail of masterpieces offered in our sales.