Collector's Items

Legendary Scull Art Collection Shown in New York

Robert Scull and his wife, Ethel, may have become infamous as New York social climbers, but their early investment in Pop artists—Robert commissioned Andy Warhol’s first portrait, among other major pieces—resulted in a definitive collection. Now 44 works are on display at New York’s Acquavella Galleries. Art critic Irving Sandler has said that Scull “was one of the only people at the time who understood this art." Sandler calls this “a major collection,” and the works on display amount to less than one-fifth of the pieces the Sculls collected. Though the Sculls, who made their fortune from taxis, funded the starts of iconic artists, they later drew widespread criticism for auctioning off the works at greater value than what they had originally paid and were at one point accused of killing contemporary art “not with a whimper but with a bid.”