Oprah Makes $60M on One Painting

Reportedly sells portrait by Gustav Klimt for $150M
By Arden Dier,  Newser Staff
Posted Feb 9, 2017 10:21 AM CST
Oprah Makes $60M on One Painting
Gustav Klimt's "Portrait of Adele Bloch-Bauer II."   (Neue Galerie)

In 2006, Oprah Winfrey bought a painting by Austrian master Gustav Klimt for $87.9 million, the auction record for a Klimt painting. Wise move. Last summer, she sold the "Portrait of Adele Bloch-Bauer II" for $150 million and made a tidy profit of about $62 million, reports Bloomberg. The 1912 painting depicts the wife of a Vienna art patron, and Winfrey had loaned it to Museum of Modern Art in New York City, per Bloomberg. While on display there, it apparently caught the attention of the unidentified Chinese patron who paid the new price.

The painting now hangs at the Neue Galerie in New York, where it is to be on display until September. What its current owner plans to do with the painting after that time is uncertain, though Hyperallergic notes it may be hidden from public view. Both the "Portrait of Adele Bloch-Bauer II" and Klimt's better-known "Portrait of Adele Bloch-Bauer I" in gold from 1907 were looted by Nazis and only returned to Bloch-Bauer's heirs in 2006. (The legal battle is told in the Helen Mirren film Woman in Gold.) The Hollywood Reporter notes that Winfrey is known to be a serious art collector, though details of what she owns are scant. (Winfrey has a new TV gig—on 60 Minutes.)

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