The Sunday Times’s annual “Rich List” was released on May 13, gathering together the names of the UK’s richest 1,000 people all in one swanky issue. Placing high on the list are several generous philanthropists and art collectors, and for the third year running contemporary artists Damien Hirst and Anish Kapoor are the only artists to make it onto the prestigious index.
Below, here are the 11 art world players who made it into the 2018 edition.
Ranking high at number 3, the 60-year-old billionaire who owns Warner Music Group is estimated to be worth a whopping £15.2 billion ($20.5 billion) this year, although his worth is down £723 million ($977 million) from last year, when he ranked number 2 on the same list. Born in Ukraine, Blavatnik became a British citizen in 2010. Last year, he was knighted by the queen for his philanthropy and is marked by his donations to the arts. Tate Modern’s new wing is called the “Blavatnik Building” after he made a £50 million ($67 million) donation, while the Victoria & Albert Museum’s new entrance is the “Blavatnik Hall” after his £5 million ($6.7 million) donation. Both contributions were made within a two-month spate last year. Elsewhere, Oxford has a “Blavatnik School of Government” after a £75 million ($101 million) gift to the university.
The Russian oil tycoon who has owned Chelsea football club since 2003, not to mention an extensive art collection, comes in at number 13 on the list and is worth £9.3 billion ($12.6 billion), with his worth having risen £1.2 billion ($1.6 billion) since last year, when he also ranked at lucky number 13. The British government is clamping down on wealthy Russians with UK assets (especially those like Abramovich considered close to Vladimir Putin), which might have the 51 year old worrying about slipping down the list next year. In addition, he separated from his third wife, the 36-year-old Dasha Zhukova, last year, which might further take a toll on his net worth.
François-Henri Pinault and Salma Hayek
This year the couple made it to the 26th position on the list, up from 34th last year, which makes sense as their net wealth has risen £1.7 billion ($2.3 billion). They are now valued at £5.1 billion ($6.9 billion). François Pinault, 55, runs Kering, the global luxury group built by his father, which oversees brands including Gucci, Saint Laurent, Alexander McQueen, and Balenciaga. The elder Pinault handed over the business so he could concentrate on the Pinault Collection, which comprises some 3,000 works of art. For her part, the 51-year-old Mexico-born Hayek is best known for playing Frida Kahlo in a 2002 biopic, for which she was nominated for an Oscar. She was in the news last year as she came out in the New York Times with allegations against disgraced Hollywood mogul Harvey Weinstein. Pinault is estimated to have wealth worth £5 billion ($6.8 billion), with Hayek bringing her own estimated £80 million ($108 million) to the table.
Poju and Anita Zabludowicz
Finland-born Poju, 65, and British wife Anita, 57, are estimated to have wealth around £1.5 billion ($2 billion), the same as last year, although they have slipped slightly from 84th to 90th position. Last year they landed themselves in hot water with heritage advisory body Historic England after they submitted plans to expand their art foundation, housed in a 19th-century church in north London, which involved taking a wrecking ball to the former Methodist Sunday school in the listed building.
Pinchuk, 57, is in the news these days for a six-figure payment he made to Donald Trump ahead of the US presidential election, which is being investigated by special counsel Robert Mueller amid allegations of Russian involvement in the election. The Ukranian made his money in the steel pipe business and has a vast art collection. This year he ranks 136th on the list, estimated to be worth £1 billion ($1.3 billion), up £100 million ($135 million) from last year.
The enfant terrible of British art has climbed up from last year’s ranking at 422 to position 410 on the list, no doubt due to acquiring £30 million ($40.5 million) in the aftermath of his splashy art world comeback that kicked off with his Venice exhibition last year. The 52-year-old Bristol-born artist reportedly claimed that by November 2017 the sales from “Treasures from the Wreck of the Unbelievable” had already hit £330 million ($446 million), according to the Times. Hirst also collects art and owns more than 3,000 pieces including work by Picasso and Francis Bacon, as well as numerous natural history specimens and historical objects, which he shows at his Newport Street Gallery in London.
The Duke of Buccleuch
Last November’s landmark sale of Leonardo da Vinci’s Salvator Mundi to the Louvre Abu Dhabi leaves da Vinci’s Madonna of the Yarnwinder, owned by Buccleuch, as the world’s most valuable painting that remains in private hands. The storied painting, which was stolen in 2003 and then recovered in 2007, is on permanent loan to the Scottish National Gallery in Edinburgh. Richard Scott, 64, is the 10th Duke of Buccleuch and Queensberry. At number 530 on the list, he is estimated to be worth around £224 million ($303 million).
David Roberts and Family
Roberts, 61, and his family are estimated to be worth around £207 million ($280 million) and take position 570 on the list, up from 646 last year, having accrued £32 million ($43.2 million) since the last ranking. Known for his art collection, he runs the David Roberts Art Foundation, which recently sold its base in Camden, north London, to develop its presence in the regions. Roberts owns thousands of artworks including work by Damien Hirst, Anish Kapoor, Andy Warhol, and Anthony Caro. He is married to a Lithuanian art photographer, Indrė Šerpytytė, and has six children from his first marriage.
The Duke of Marlborough
The 12th Duke of Marlborough, also known as Jamie Blandford, inherited Blenheim Palace in 2014. The 62-year-old duke is estimated to be worth around £188 million ($254 million) and takes position 638 on the list. Blenheim Palace’s art collection includes works by Van Dyck, while its extensive grounds were landscaped by the 18th-century artist Lancelot aka Capability Brown.
Maurice and Charles Saatchi
The Saatchi brothers, who together built the advertising agency Saatchi & Saatchi (later M&C Saatchi) take position 822 on the list, estimated to be worth £144 million ($194 million). Although their net worth has climbed by £2 million ($2.7 million), they’ve slipped down from position 786 last year. Charles Saatchi, who sold his stake in the company, is known for his art collection and for owning Saatchi Gallery, as well as his early championing of the YBAs including Damien Hirst and Tracey Emin.
Sir Anish Kapoor
Falling in position 862, Anish Kapoor is estimated to be worth around £135 million ($182 million). He has dropped from position 832 despite adding £1 million ($1.3 million) to his worth since last year; he is up £5 million ($6.7 million) since 2016. The British Indian sculptor, 64, donated a work, Red Lens for Grenfell, to the Sotheby’s auction for the victims of the Grenfell Tower fire in London last year, raising £110,000 ($148,000). He won the Turner Prize in 1991, and was recently the laureate of the $1 million Genesis Prize (otherwise known as the “Jewish Nobel Prize”), which he has said he is donating to help people fleeing war or persecution.
Follow artnet News on Facebook:
Want to stay ahead of the art world? Subscribe to our newsletter to get the breaking news, eye-opening interviews, and incisive critical takes that drive the conversation forward.