MGM to Sell Vegas Restaurant Picassos in Diversity Gamble
Sotheby's will handle the auction of 11 works with a combined value estimated at around $100 million.
Pablo Picasso, Femme au béret rouge-orange (1938) at the Picasso Restaurant, Las Vegas. Oil and ripolin on canvas. Courtesy Sotheby's and MGM Resorts. Copyright: 2021 Estate of Pablo Picasso / Artists Rights Society, New York.
The works were amassed by casino magnate and art collector Steve Wynn, who helped open the Bellagio in 1998. Wynn exited the industry in 2018 following sexual harassment allegations.
In a statement, MGM said it planned to reshape its public fine art portfolio with a greater focus on diversity and inclusion.
'While diversity has long been in MGM Resorts' DNA, we are committed to creating an even more inclusive collection that maintains the breadth of our existing portfolio while giving a greater voice to artists from under-represented communities,' said Ari Kastrati, MGM Resorts' chief hospitality officer.
The standout painting is a portrait of Marie-Thérèse Walter entitled Femme au béret rouge-orange (1938), with an estimated of $20–30 million.
Other pieces and their estimates include the portraits Homme et enfant (1969) for $20–30 million and Buste d'homme (1969) for $10–15 million, still life Nature morte au panier de fruits et aux fleurs (1942) for $10–15 million, and the ceramic pitcher Aiguière – Visage (1954) for $60–80,000.
The works will be auctioned off by Sotheby's at the Bellagio on 23 October.
Prior to the sale, the works will be exhibited at Sotheby's New York galleries from 7 to 13 September and at the Bellagio Gallery of Fine Art in Las Vegas from 21 to 23 October.
Selected works will also be shown in Taipei on 17 and 18 September and in Hong Kong from 7 to 11 October. —[O]