Picasso to Lead Emily Fisher Landau’s Collection at Sotheby’s

Picasso Painting Worth $120 M. Will be the Main Piece from Former Whitney Trustee Emily Fisher Landau’s Collection at Sotheby's.

Sep 14, 2023By Angela Davic, News, Discoveries, In-depth Reporting, and Analysis
Sotheby’s worldwide headquarters, New York, photo by Ajay Suresh, via Wikimedia


Picasso painting, Femme à la montre, will be the pain piece at Sotheby’s auction taking place this fall. The painting created in 1932 is part of the Emily Fisher Landau collection. Among Picasso, there are other artists representing the collection: Ed Ruscha, Jasper Johns, Glenn Ligon and Mark Tansey and others. The auction is taking place on November 8 and 9.


Picasso’s Walter Depiscion Always Sells Best

Woman in the Watch Picasso
Picasso’s “Woman in the Watch”. Via Tellerreport.


The market and buyers have been waiting for this auction for a long time. Behind the collection stands the financial guarantee of the auction house. Also, Sotheby’s statistic show the collection will manage to collect more than $400 million. This Spanish artist’s painting is one of the most famous artwork the collector has in her possession. The main subject of the painting is Marie-Thérèse Walter.


Walter was Picasso’s young mistress and her her figure was often the best seller at auctions of Picasso’s works. Julian Dawes, Sotheby’s head of Impressionist and Modern Art for the Americas called the Picasso painting a “definitive” work in Western art history. Other important works are Ed Ruscha‘s Securing the Last Letter (Boss) from 1964 and an untitled Mark Rothko painting from 1958.


pablo picasso self portrait
Self-portrait by Pablo Picasso, 1907, via Wikiart


This particular piece relies on a renowned sequence that Rothko created for the Four Seasons restaurant in the Seagram skyscraper in New York. Sotheby’s is selling each picture individually, with figures accessible solely upon demand. There is also painting by  Jasper John, titled Flags. He created the piece in late 60s with its estimated value of $35-45 million.

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Landau Donated Over 300 Artwork to the Whitney

A Picasso Portrait
The 1903 portrait Madame Soler by Pablo Picasso


The main attractions will also include Self Portrait, a gouache and giclee artwork on linen by Andy Warhol from 1986. The auction house estimated its value somewhere between $15-20 million. There are also artworks by Willem de Kooning and Georgia O’Keeffe that could fetch between $3 million to $6 million.


Landau passed away when she was 102 years old, in March 2023. She started collecting in the 1960s and was a previous trustee at the Whitney Museum of American Art in New York. During the years that Ruscha, Rothko, and Johns were busy making artwork in their New York studios, she got acquainted with them firsthand. Later, Landau proceeded ahead to purchase pieces by significant contemporary and modern artists.


Pablo Picasso and his son Claude in 1955. Photo courtesy of Getty Images and Bettmann.


Among them are: Henri Matisse, Piet Mondrian, Jean Arp, Mark Rothko, Franz Kline, Paul Klee and Louise Nevelson. By 2010, she had given the Whitney Museum over 300 works of art. Brooke Lampley said the remaining collection’s biggest draw is its track record in chronicling important U.S. artists.  This also includes Picasso.

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By Angela DavicNews, Discoveries, In-depth Reporting, and AnalysisAngela is a journalism student at the Faculty of Political Science in Belgrade and received a scholarship for continued education in Prague. She completed her internship at the daily newspaper DANAS and worked as an executive editor at Talas.