A&M Records Co-Founder Jerry Moss’ Art Collection Could Fetch $50M at Auction

A portion of the sale proceeds will benefit the Music Center, a performing arts complex the music executive supported.

The art collection of Jerry Moss, the late music executive known for his representation of artists as different as Janet Jackson and Carole King, is heading to auction this fall. With a total sale estimate of more than $50 million, the lots include seminal works by the likes of Frida Kahlo, Tamara de Lempicka and Pablo Picasso.

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Two paintings shown next to each other, each depicting young women dressed in white
Tamara de Lempicka’s Kizette en rose II, (1928-1930) and Frida Kahlo’s Portrait of Cristina, My Sister, (1928). Courtesy of Christie's

Moss, who died in August at age 88, is best known for founding of A&M Records in 1962 alongside trumpeter Herb Alpert. The small label rose to industry dominance with its release of hits by the Carpenters, Supertramp, Cat Stevens and Peter Frampton, among others. In 2006, both founders were inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame.

SEE ALSO: Christie’s Expected to Break Arshile Gorky’s Auction Record With a $20M Sale

He was also a dedicated patron of the arts and, through the years, assembled a comprehensive collection of avant-garde and contemporary pieces. “Jerry believed that you had to have confidence in yourself to risk displaying your personal taste on the walls for all to see,” said his widow Tina Moss in a statement. “He did not want to purchase something because someone told him he should.”

Andy Warhol’s Portrait of Jerry Moss, (1984). Courtesy of Christie's

More than a dozen works will be sold by Christie's in New York on November 9, in an auction led by two portraits by Kahlo and de Lempicka. Kahlo’s Portrait of Cristina, My Sister is expected to bring in between $8 million and $12 million, while de Lempicka’s depiction of her daughter in Kizette en rose II has an estimate of between $7 million and $10 million. The latter painting was acquired by Moss in 1982 before de Lempicka’s market surged to its current levels of demand, according to Christie’s.

Painting depicting two men playing the piano and violin
Thomas Hart Benton’s Evening Concert, (1952-1963). Courtesy of Christie's

A Picasso is expected to bring in $15 million

The top lot in the sale is Nu Couche, a 1968 Picasso painting with a high estimate of $15 million. Other highlights include a Thomas Hart Benton work titled Evening Concert and a Jean-Michel Basquiat painting from 1984, with respective high estimates of $2.5 million and $6 million.

In addition to the thirteen paintings featured in the November sale, Christie’s will sell off more of Moss’ collection during its Marquee Week and Design sales in December. Featured artists in those auctions include Max Beckmann and Andy Warhol, the latter of whom painted a portrait of Moss in 1984 that will also go to auction.

Black and white abstract painting of woman
Pablo Picasso’s Nu couche, (1968). Courtesy of Christie's

Highlights of The Collection of Jerry Moss will be exhibited across London, Los Angeles and New York in advance of the sales. A portion of the sale proceeds will benefit the Music Center, a performing arts organization in Los Angeles. Moss helped fund the organization’s performance plaza with a $25 million donation in 2020, and in January, the organization hosted a benefit concert in the outdoor space, at which the record executive made one of his last public appearances. Moss was also a University of California Los Angeles supporter, with gifts that established scholarships for students of art and architecture.

A&M Records Co-Founder Jerry Moss’ Art Collection Could Fetch $50M at Auction