The United States has the largest share of art collectors in the world with 25%, followed by Germany with 9% and the UK and China with 7% each. Between July 2013 and July 2014, contemporary art auction sales in the United States amounted to almost $617 million, and thanks to the Internet, it’s only getting bigger. Fully, 71% of art collectors have now bought art of some form online. What’s more, the online art market is expected to triple in size by 2019.
As wealthy and influential as these art collectors are and will continue to be, it might be best to keep some distance politically, as Marco Rubio recently found out.
The Republican presidential candidate found himself in a rather controversial situation when he scheduled a high dollar fundraiser at the home of an Adolf Hitler art collector. Worst of all, the event was set for the eve of Yom Kippur, the holiest day of the year in Judaism.
Wealthy Republican benefactor and art enthusiast Harlan Crow, and his wife were scheduled to host a $2,000-per-couple event for Rubio on September 22 at their eight-acre estate in the wealthy, uber-conservative Dallas suburb Highland Park. His library also has two original paintings by Adolf Hitler.
That’s not all. It also features “busts of dictators, including Russian communist leader Vladimir Lenin, Romanian dictator Nicolae Ceausescu and Yugoslav dictator Josip Broz Tito.”
The worst part of it all was that it fell on the night before the observance of the Jewish Day of Atonement, Yom Kippur, which was likely why more controversy surrounded Rubio’s event than the one Mitt Romney had there back in 2012.
“Holding an event in a house featuring the artwork and signed autobiography of a man who dedicated his life to extinguishing the Jewish people is the height of insensitivity and indifference,” said a statement from Debbie Wasserman, the Democratic National Convention Chairwoman. “It is astounding that the presence of these items that represent horror for millions of Jews the world over would not stop Mr. Rubio or anyone on his team in their tracks when planning this event.”