Jose Mugrabi Has a Lot of Toys He Never Plays WithIsn’t it weird how people, especially, it seems, men, have this impulse to collect things? The Journal today profiles Jose Mugrabi, the owner of the world’s largest private art collection in the world, of Andy Warhols. The son of a grocer and a textile importer, Mugrabi tells the Journal that “art became a refuge” for him while growing up in Bogota, Colombia. His first major Warhol get was Marilyn Monroe (Twenty Times), for which he paid a record-breaking $3.96 million in 1988. Although he has been offered much, much more for it since, he still has it. And how many other Warhols has he amassed?
Mr. Mugrabi furrowed his eyebrows and stared off into a corner of the room. “Esty!” he bellowed. “Warhols, how many do I have?” Less than a minute later, his longtime assistant, Esty Neuman, popped through the door from the reception area holding a printout.
“Eight hundred,” she said, matter of factly.
Mr. Mugrabi, looking slightly surprised, smiled and glanced over at his sons, who were sitting across from him. “So many,” he said quietly.
You see, he keeps them all in a warehouse in Newark.