The art industry, from gallerists to curators to collectors, is incredibly male-dominated despite the number of qualified women in these fields. We’ve rounded up the top female art collectors from around the world, including Miuccia Prada, Julia Stoschek, Susi Kenna and more, to keep your eye on.
Dubbed “Germany’s foremost post-Internet collector” by Artnews, Julia Stoschek boasts a 560-piece collection including the work of art world giants Marina Abramovic, Joseph Beuys, Olafur Eliasson and Ed Ruscha, as well as newer talents such as Jordan Wolfson, Chloe Wise and Amalia Ulman. Julia Stoschek Collection, a gallery showcasing her acquisitions, opened in 2007 in Dusseldorf and focuses on video and time-based media art.
Though Italian designer Miuccia Prada hesitates to call herself a collector, she certainly fits the bill. She and her husband, Patrizio Bertelli, own over 900 modern and contemporary works, most of which are on display at the Fondazione Prada. Included in its permanent collection are works by Dan Flavin, Louise Bourgeois, Damian Hirst, Jeff Koons and John Baldessari.
Listed among Blouin Artinfo‘s 2012 roundup of the top 50 collectors under 50, Susi Kenna has been in the art game since 2005. She previously worked at Christie’s and Jim Kempner Fine Art, and currently boasts the title of Director of Social Media for FITZ & CO, the company responsible for directing Art Basel‘s digital initiatives. Her collection includes works by Barbara Kruger, Andrea Mary Marshall, Eric Mistrella, Carlos Charlie Perez and Cindy Sherman.
Francesca von Habsburg
Married to Karl Habsburg-Lothringen, head of the House of Hapsburg-Lorraine, Francesca von Habsburg counts herself as both an imperial archduchess and art collector. Her Vienna-based foundation, Thyssen-Bornemisza Art Contemporary, was founded in 2002 and showcases an impressive roster of works by Ai WeiWei, Carsten Höller, Maurizio Cattelan, Tracey Emin, Phil Collins and many, many more.
The daughter of Walmart founder Sam Walton, Alice Walton boasts the title of the richest woman in the world with a fortune of $46 billion. Her collection, spanning a range of styles and decades, includes works by Josef Albers, Jean-Michel Basquiat, Roy Lichtenstein and Georgia O’Keefe, among others. Walton founded the Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art in Bentonville, Arkansas, in 2011 to house her expanding collection of masterpieces. In 2016, the museum announced plans to open a new space, specifically for contemporary art, in a now-defunct 63,000-square-foot Kraft cheese plant.
In 2013, Elaine Wynn’s purchase of Francis Bacon’s “Three Studies of Lucian Freud” broke art auction records at a going price of $142.4 million. Her collection, which Forbes estimates to be worth around $375 million, includes works by Edouard Manet, Lucian Freud, Joan Mitchell and Jim Hodges. According to the Los Angeles Times, Wynn pledged $50 million in 2016 towards LACMA’s new building, which is currently in the works.
Patrizia Sandretto began collecting contemporary art in the 1990s. Over the past two-plus decades, her collection has amassed more than 1,000 pieces including works by Anish Kapoor, Paul McCarthy, Vanessa Beercroft and Isa Genzken, as well as young artists Ryan Tecartin, Ian Cheng and Avery Singer. In 1995, Sandretto established the Fondazione Sandretto Re Rebaudengo, a non-profit art institution that hosts exhibitions, educational workshops and symposiums.