Eleven Picasso paintings as well as other pieces which helped transform Las Vegas into an unlikely destination for art were auctioned off in auction on Saturday for more than $100 million.
The auction of Sotheby's was held in the Bellagio hotel in Las Vegas, where the artworks were on display for a long time, and was held two days prior to the 140th birthday celebration of The Spanish artist on October. 25.
Five of the paintings been displayed on the walls in the Bellagio's restaurant for fine dining, Picasso. The restaurant will exhibit 12 additional Picasso artworks.
The most expensive price was achieved by the painting of 1938 "Femme au beret rouge-orange" of Picasso's muse and lover Marie-Therese Walter. The painting was auctioned to $40.5 million, or about 10 million more than the estimate for the pre-sale.
Photo: Picasso paintings and works are being auctioned off at the Bellagio Hotel in Las Vegas
"Femme au beret rouge-orange" is displayed in the lead up to auction at the Bellagio Hotel in Las Vegas on Saturday.BRIDGET BENNET/ Reuters
The portraits of large size "Homme et Enfant" and "Buste d'homme" sold for $24.4 million and $9.5 million, respectively. Meanwhile, smaller ceramic works like "Le Dejeuner sur l'herbe" which was sold to $2.1 million, sold at three or four times the price they were expected to sell for.
The names of the buyers weren't disclosed.
The sale of Saturday was part an offer by the hotel and casino operator MGM Resorts to further diversify its collection to include more artwork from women or people of color, emerging nations, as in addition to LGBTQ artists as well as artists who have disabilities.
American museum and galleries are striving to increase their collections following the aftermath of the massive cultural outrage in 2020 about discrimination against minorities at every level in U.S. society.
An 2019. Public Library of Science study of 18 renowned U.S. museums found that 85 percent of the artists displayed are white, and the remaining 87 percent are men.
The MGM Resorts Fine Arts Collection contains more than 900 pieces by 200 artists, including contemporary works of Bob Dylan and David Hockney. The collection was established around twenty years ago Steve Wynn, former owner of the Bellagio and the former director for Wynn Resorts.