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September 04, 2015

Sale of $500-Million Taubman Art Trove to Boost Foundation

The late shopping-mall magnate and philanthropist A. Alfred Taubman's foundation will reap some of the proceeds from an auction of his art collection that is expected to fetch more than $500 million, The New York Times and the Detroit Free Press report. Receipts from four planned Sotheby's sales, the first to take place in November, will be divided between estate obligations and the A. Alfred Taubman Foundation.

Mr. Taubman, who died in April at the age of 91, supported various medical, cultural, and educational institutions. The Pontiac, Mich., native was a major patron of the University of Michigan, to which he gave more than $150 million, and the Detroit Institute of Arts, which has a wing named after him. Taubman's art holdings, which may be among the most valuable ever brought to private auction, range from old masters to Modernist icons.

The sale is likely to have an impact on the Detroit museum, which holds a number of pieces from Mr. Taubman's collection on loan. A Sotheby's spokeswoman said the sale will include "his entire collection, including works on loan at museums." Mr. Taubman was the principal owner of the auction house for 22 years, a period that included a price-fixing scandal for which he served nine and a half months in prison.