The Solow Art and Architecture Foundation is set to open a museum next year, according to its president Stefan Soloviev.
The museum will be dedicated to the art collection built up by Sheldon Solow, real estate magnate and father of Solovyov, who died two years ago. Soloviev has taken over the reins of the Solow real estate empire, whose crown jewel is the sloping skyscraper at 9 West 57th Street.
This building has recently generated a bit of speculative buzz after The Real Deal reported that Soloviev “is finalizing a deal to sell the prestigious office tower” in what would be one of the biggest deals of the era. of the pandemic. The 50-story building was valued in 2016 at $3.4 billion, according to the publication.
“The speculation is wrong,” Soloviev told Artnet News this week, pointing out the Bloomberg article announcing that Loews Corp, the billionaire family business of Tisch art collectors, is taking 65,000 square feet of space in the tower.
Other tenants have ties to the art world, such as Leon Black’s Apollo Global Management and Dan Sundheim’s D1 Capital Partners hedge fund. (Alice Tisch, Black and Sundheim are also trustees of the nearby Museum of Modern Art.)
Soloviev said the museum would likely open in the third quarter of 2023, but declined to reveal any further details. The Solow Art and Architecture Foundation was critical to take advantage of its non-profit status without allowing adequate public access. Passers-by could see the trophy artwork from the West 57th Street window and sometimes the sculptures were displayed on the sidewalks. But opening hours were few or non-existent, according to reviews.
That will change, according to Solovyov. “These will be normal museum hours,” he said.
The collection at one point was estimated at $500 million, according to dealers and his tax filings. The most recent filing, which covers the fiscal year ending in November. 30, 2020, lists 13 individual works of art; its total assets were valued at $347.6 million. Just before his death, Solow recorded one of these works, Sandro by Botticelli young man holding a cockade, at Sotheby’s; it sold for $92.2 million as of January 2021.
The collection includes monumental sculptures by Giacometti and Miró as well as paintings by Van Gogh, Matisse, Basquiat and Twombly, among others.
“He’s amassed a phenomenal art collection,” Soloviev said. “And that’s why I don’t sell any of it. This speaks to his success in building this collection. I don’t think it’s my right or my children’s right to touch this. I wouldn’t want anyone touching this collection if I put it up.
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