10 Most Valuable Celebrity Art Collections

One major way for celebrities to increase their investments is through the purchasing of high end art. Much like stocks, art accrues value over time, strengthening the net worth of the individual who owns the piece. Whether celebrities purchase the art to help fund the careers of their favorite artists, utilize the works to build their investment portfolio, or simply just admire and appreciate the art itself, they contribute to the art market through curatorial sales and auctions around the world.

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Certain celebrities choose a favorite style of art for their collections. This can include a variety of pieces from graffiti and street artists to major canonical works from classical, impressionist, or post-modern masters. In recent cases, it can also include art from the digital sphere as well, presented in the form of NFTs. Others may choose one specific artist that they admire and seek out several of their pieces. Brad Pitt is known for his admiration of Banksy, while P. Diddy is amassing a collection of works by Kerry James Marshall. Others, however, are more keen on searching for up and coming artists whose pieces are still cheap. As the public catches on to their rising popularity, they can then sell the pieces at auction, making a significant profit in the process. Regardless of what art they collect or what their reasoning for owning the expensive pieces may be, these celebrities have acquired some of the most expensive art collections in history.

10 Leonardo DiCaprio, $18 million

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Leonardo DiCaprio is known for both his activism and his art collection. He has works by some of the most recognized figures in the art world including a $9 million Basquiat and a $3.2 million Picasso. Unfortunately, both pieces were given up to authorities related to an embezzlement situation connected with the 1Malaysia Development Berhad fund.

9 Ellen Degeneres, $20 million

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Shortly after addressing the rumors behind her “toxic work environment”, Ellen Degeneres put a majority of her art collection up for auction. The sale included pieces from noted masters such as Jean-Michel Basquiat, Alexander Calder, and Francois-Xavier Lalanne. The collection was valued at around $10 million alone.

8 Brad Pitt, $25 million

Brad Pitt is known for his contemporary collection of art. He owns several original pieces from the street artist Banksy which led to a friendship between the two celebrities. In 2009, Pitt reportedly spent $1 million on a single piece by German artist Neo Rauch.

7 Madonna, $100 million

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Madonna is known for both her classical and contemporary art collection. She sold a Fernand Leger piece at Sotheby’s for a reported $7.2 million and owns both a Pablo Picasso and Frida Kahlo. She hasn’t shied away from emerging artists either. She commissioned Thierry Guetta, the subject of Banksy’s documentary Exit Through the Gift Shop, to create the cover art for one of her greatest hits collections.

6 Jack Nicholson, $150 million

Jack Nicholson has a taste for modernism and owns several artworks by Picasso, Matisse, Modigliani, Magritte, and Rodin.  His recent evaluation placed his entire collection at over $150 million.

5 Steven Spielberg, $240 million

Spielberg not only references art throughout his films, but also collects pieces himself. He is known for his admiration of impressionism as well as americana including the works of Norman Rockwell and Edward Hopper. Both painters works could almost replace the still frames from some of his films like Close Encounters of the Third Kind or E.T.

4 Oprah Winfrey, $300 million

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Oprah’s ever expanding art collection includes works by Richard Edward Miller, Hovsep Pushman, and Gustav Klimt. She has loaned some of her pieces to the Museum of Modern Art in New York as well as the Neue Galarie. Recently, she sold a $150 million Gustav Klimt painting at auction to an unnamed buyer.

3 George Lucas, $600 million

George Lucas’ collection is so massive that he is planning to open a $2 billion museum in Los Angeles. Titled the “Lucas Museum of Narrative Art”, it is set to open in 2023. The collection will contain a variety of classical and contemporary pieces including a monumental mural titled “The Great Wall of Los Angeles” by Judith F. Baca.

2 Jay-Z, $1.4 billion

In addition to referencing a variety of artists throughout his songs, Jay-Z has also performed in front of a giant Jeff Koons sculpture in 2017. His personal collection is massive and appears throughout his home. Above his fireplace is an iconic Andy Warhol piece from the Rorschach series. He also recently spent $10,000 at auction for a Samuel Levi Jones piece, letting his daughter Blue Ivy place the winning bid.

1 David Geffen, $2.3 billion

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David Geffen has one of the most expensive art collections in history at an astonishing $2.3 billion. Despite selling some of his iconic pieces like Jackson Pollock’s “Number 5” and Willem de Kooning’s “Woman III”, his collection still makes up almost a third of his entire net worth.

While these celebrities retain the highest value, there are a variety of other stars known for their collections and passion for art. Steve Martin is a trustee at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art and supporter of the Hammer Museum in Los Angeles. Kanye West is a fan of artist James Turrell whom he gifted $10 million for his ongoing Roden Crater project. Sean “P. Diddy” Combs often attends Art Basel in Miami and paid $21.1 million alone for a Kerry James Marshall painting. Celebrities and actors have seemed to replace the royalty of kings and queens who traditionally funded artists, serving as the new millionaire patrons of the arts.

READ NEXT: Leonardo DiCaprio’s Huge Art Auction (And 14 Other Celebs With Personal Art Collections)

Sources: Forbes, HighSnobiety CelebrityNetWorth, Vh1, MoneyInc, ArtNet, Larry’s List, Complex, TheWrap, Independent, ChicagoTribune, FoxNews, TimesofIndia, Metro, CNN

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