Collecting for the Future: A Look at What the Top 200 Collectors Bought in 2021

Collecting for the Future: A Look at What the Top 200 Collectors Bought in 2021

What does it take to rank among the world’s Top 200 Collectors? If there is a common denominator, it is a commitment to art that is an integral part of one’s identity. For Los Angeles–based Eli Broad, who, along with his wife, Edythe, was on this list every year from its very first edition, in 1990, until his death this past year, that commitment expressed itself in generosity—by way of the lending library he made of his collection—seasoned with more than a pinch of competitiveness: in 2015, when he opened his museum, The Broad, he told ARTnews, “If you look at art of the last 60 years, our collection is far superior to anything else in Los Angeles.”

[See the 2021 edition of the Top 200 Collectors list.]

For most collectors, the centrality of art in their lives comes across most clearly in a desire to experience art in person. Over the past year, reopenings of museums and galleries rippled across the globe as pandemic concerns eased, and the collectors on this list lit out to see art of all kinds. We asked what their favorite exhibitions were, and the shows they raved about amount to a sort of global grand tour, from Anne Imhof in Paris and Yayoi Kusama in Berlin to Alice Neel in New York and Zhang Enli in Shanghai. New additions to this year’s Top 200 similarly come from disparate locales—Taiwan, Los Angeles, and Hong Kong among them—representing the truly global nature of collecting today. In the pages that follow, you’ll see some of those new collectors alongside more established figures who are adding to their holdings as the art world navigates our ever-changing times.

Sarah Douglas, Maximilíano Durón, Alex Greenberger, Tessa Solomon, and Angelica Villa contributed to this report, a version of which appears in the October/November 2021 issue of ARTnews.
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