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Real Estate Developer Sheldon Solow’s Notoriously Private Art Collection Is Getting a Public Show

A space holding art from the late New York real estate developer's collection will welcome visitors in 2023.

Solow Building Mysak Ladislav/CTK via AP Images

A space that hosts art from the collection of the late New York real estate developer Sheldon Solow will at long last begin welcoming the public in 2023. Located at 9 West 57th Street, it has for more than two decades been inaccessible to the public.

The gallery will be revamped as part of a plan to expand one of the Manhattan building’s towers on West 58th Street this year, the New York Post reported on Monday. The mogul’s grandson, Hayden Soloviev, who currently serves as vice chairman of his family’s newly formed development and agricultural company the Soloviev Group, confirmed the news to the Post.

In December 2020, one month after Solow’s death, his only son, Stefan Soloviev, and his widow, Mia Fonssagrives Solow, said that the collection of works would be made accessible to the public. Since the 1990s, the works have been held in a family foundation. The heirs also said that the family was considering opening a private museum dedicated to the works.

Solow’s collection, which has been estimated to be worth between $400 million and $500 million, includes works by Vincent van Gogh, Henri Matisse, Amedeo Modigliani, Joan Miró, and Jean-Michel Basquiat.

The plan may shore up a long-running dispute over the Midtown gallery’s inaccessibility, which had drawn criticism from some art experts. Some have argued Solow fraudulently reaped tax benefits because his foundation was classed as a nonprofit, even though the collection was kept out of the public eye. When Crain’s New York investigated Solow’s collection in 2018, he did not respond to a request for comment.

Last year, Solow’s family sold a Botticelli portrait that Solow purchased in the 1980s. Solow had bought the painting for $1.3 million; it sold for a record-setting at Sotheby’s in 2021. Through his foundation, Solow is believed to have avoided paying $33 million in capital gains taxes on the painting.

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