In the art world, money talks.
ArtReview put Sheikha al-Mayassa al-Thani, the daughter of the emir of Qatar, at the top of its annual Power 100 list, which ranks the art world’s most powerful players. According to the magazine, Sheikha’s “vast purchasing power and willingness to spend at a rate estimated to be $1 billion a year – in order to get top works of art for its Doha museums,” made her the most powerful person in the international art market, Reuters notes.
Led by Sheikha, Qatar has become a major force in art auctions around the world as it buys up artworks through its Qatar Museum Authority (QMA).
In 2011, the QMA is thought to have paid an unconfirmed $250 million for The Card Players, a painting by the French Post-Impressionist Paul Cézanne. That would be a new record price for a painting.
Earlier this year, the Leonard Lauder, Chairman Emeritus of Estee-Lauder (NYSE:EL) donated 76 artworks, valued at about $1 billion, from his collection of cubist art to the Metropolitan Museum of Art.