American Philanthropist Anne Marion’s Art Collection Expected To Fetch US$150M

Personal art collection amassed by late American philanthropist Anne Marion (1938-2020), heiress to the Four Sixes Ranch in Texas, will go under the hammer at Sotheby’s New York, expected to fetch a collective US$150m.

Spearheaded by Andy Warhol’s Elvis 2 Times, over 200 artworks and jewelry pieces from her collection will be offered in eight sales from this spring onwards. The collection Marion assembled includes important artworks by such American postwar artists as Andy Warhol, Clyfford Still, and Roy Lichtenstein - many of which were unseen by the public for decades.


Andy Warhol’s 1963 silver silkscreen painting, Elvis 2 Times is a part of Anne Marion’s vast collection

Roy Lichtenstein’s Girl with Beach Ball II resided in Marion’s Fort Worth home before her passing

Anne Marion, heiress to the Four Sixes Ranch in Texas


Marion, Texan philanthropist and keen collector, died last February, at the age of 81. In 1980, Anne Marion inherited the 260,000-acre family-run ranch in Texas as well as an oil fortune, from her great-grandfather, Captain Samuel Burk Burnett. The hands-on rancher was a pioneering advocate of cowboy’s rights, leading her ranch to be one of the first in the industry to provide her staff with health insurance and retirement plans.

Being an enthusiastic art collector herself, Marion had over the years donated hundreds of artworks and was the driving force behind the US$60m expansion of the Modern Art Museum of Fort Worth. She was also the co-founder of the Georgia O’Keeffe Museum in Santa Fe - America’s first museum dedicated to a female artist.


The 260,000-acre Four Sixes Ranch in Texas. For comparison, that is roughly 18 Manhattans combined


Together with works that will be gifted to the Modern Art Museum of Fort Worth and the Kimbell Art Museum, a major part of her art collection was acquired from 1970 to 1980, and was unseen by the public for decades, many of which were kept in Marion’s Fort Worth home - the first private residence designed by I.M.Pei, the architect behind the iconic Louvre Pyramid in France.

Marion seemed to have an inseparable tie with Sotheby’s. Marion’s fourth husband, John Marion was a Sotheby's auctioneer and served as the auction house’s chairman from 1975 to 1994, who had brought some of the legacy left behind by Marion’s mother Anne Burnett Tandy, to the auction house in the 1980s. Having Marion’s personal collection auctioned off at Sotheby’s seems to have come full circle.


Anne and John Marion


Highlight lots of Marion’s collection include:

Andy Warhol (1926-1987) | Elvis 2 Times, 1963
Silkscreen ink and silver paint on linen
Estimate: US$20,000,000 - 30,000,000


Known for his pop art paintings and high-contrast silkscreens, Andy Warhol also painted some of the most famous celebrity portraits from Marilyn Monroe to Elizabeth Taylor in the 1960s.

The present work is based on a publicity still for the 1960 movie "Flaming Star," in which Elvis Presley played the role of a Texan rancher. The painting is among one of the most famous depictions of the King of Rock ‘n’ Roll by the artist.

Warhol had made a total of 22 iterations of the Double Elvis, all portraying two overlapping images of Elvis Presley in a gunslinger pose. One of the examples resides in the Museum of Modern Art (MoMA) in New York. Another interpretation stunned the evening sale at Christie’s New York and was sold for a record-breaking US$53m.


MoMA’s Double Elvis (left) and Double Elvis that was sold in Christie’s 2019 (right)


Clyfford Still (1904-1980) | PH-125 (1948-No.1), 1948
Oil on canvas
Estimate: US$25,000,000 - 35,000,000

The present painting was created by Clyfford Still, one of the important leading figures of Abstract Expressionism emerged during the late 1940s, after World War II. The North Dakota-born artist was also influenced by his upbringing in the Midwest. The jagged jolts of crimson and beige interconnects with the mustard yellow surface, emanating much energy across the canvas.


Richard Diebenkorn (1922-1993) | Ocean Park No. 40, 1971
Oil on canvas
Estimate: US$20,000,000 - 30,000,000

The seven-foot-tall Ocean Park No. 40 from 1971 was painted at the pinnacle of American abstract artist Diebenkorn’s stylistic period. The series was inspired by the juxtaposition of the open expanses of beach and the buzzling Ocean Park section of Santa Monica.


Roy Lichtenstein (1923-1997) | Girl with Beach Ball II, 1977
Oil and magna on canvas
Estimate: US$12,000,000 - 18,000,000

Lichtenstein had first embarked on the woman with the beach ball motif in 1961, at the beginning of his return to the comic-book heroines. The series represents the pop artist’s inventive mind at the creative apex of his extraordinary career. Early traits of the iconic “Ben-Day dot” style can be observed in the present work as well.


Franz Kline (1910-1962) | Mister, 1959
Oil on canvas
Estimate: US$15,000,000 - 20,000,000

The 1959 painting showcases the artist’s Action Painting style. Drawing on both the New York skyline and the landscape of his childhood in a rural coal-mining community in Pennsylvania, Kline's abstractions represent an internalized response to the gritty and urban environments of his life.

While a significant portion of Marion’s collection comprises classic 20th-century American artworks, some old master paintings, a Gerhard Richter abstract, and jewelry are also going under the hammer at Sotheby's New York, in a total of eight sales from May 2021 onwards.

• American Visionary: The Collection of Mrs. John L Marion
• Contemporary Art Day Sale
• Impressionist & Modern Art Day Sale
• American Paintings Sale
• Old Master Paintings Sale
• 19th Century European Art Sale
• Style Sale
• American Visionary: Fine Jewels from the Collection of Mrs. John L. Marion