A $50-million Canadian-owned art collection is up for U.S. auction despite its cultural significance
Works from the estate of Montreal’s Arnold and Blema Steinberg are headed for international auction this month amid a debate about how much authority the federal government should have over keeping art in Canada. A new law allows Ottawa to block the export of important art older than 50 years; some of the major pieces from the Steinberg collection only turn 50 this year. (for subscribers)
Sotheby’s is billing the art, including two pieces by U.S. abstractionist Mark Rothko, as the most important collection of colour-field painting ever to come to auction. The estate is also selling off Canadian art by the likes of Jean-Paul Riopelle.