May 23, 2022

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Sheldon H. Solow, Manhattan True Estate Mogul, Dies at 92

While shy of publicity not of his own making, he was normally in the news, asserting a venture or one of his 200 lawsuits against rivals, tenants, banking companies or even close friends, frequently in getting rid of will cause. Like it or not, he was a New York real estate mogul, along with Donald J. Trump, the Fisher brothers, Lewis Rudin, Leonard Litwin, the Milstein relatives, Bernard H. Mendik, Larry Silverstein and Harry B. Helmsley.

When he dropped out of New York University in the 1950s, Mr. Solow, who was self-taught in fine art appreciation, amassed just one of the city’s noteworthy non-public collections of Renaissance and contemporary art, with will work by van Gogh, Joan Miró, Jean-Michel Basquiat, Balthus, Picasso, Matisse, Botticelli, Giacometti, Morris Louis and Mark Rothko, as effectively as Egyptian antiquities and African artwork.

He acquired most of his artwork from dealers. But in 1973, he picked up a phone in New York, termed Sotheby’s auction dwelling in London and waged a trans-Atlantic bidding war that won him Picasso’s 1909 Cubist “Femme Assise” (Seated Female) for $800,000, a record cost then for a Picasso. In 2016, Mr. Solow sold the painting, in a Sotheby’s auction, for $63.7 million.

Philippe de Montebello, the previous director of the Metropolitan Museum of Artwork, identified as Mr. Solow’s collection eclectic and distinguished. Its astronomical worth was difficult to estimate. Like quite a few areas of his lifetime, his art created controversy. Crain’s New York Enterprise reported in 2018 that his artwork was held by a nonprofit museum that acquired federal tax breaks inspite of not being open to the community.

At times his publicity was quite good. In 1984, Mr. Solow crafted a row of 11 related 5-story solitary-family members townhouses on East 67th Avenue in Manhattan, between Next and Third Avenues. They all had elevators and shared a private prevalent backyard in the back. It was a generation that had not often been found in Manhattan considering the fact that the 19th century.