At Sotheby’s recent unbeatable due of art auctions, one of the art world’s most recognizable images, Edvard Munch’s “The Scream,” sold for a record $119.9 million at auction in New York City through Sotheby’s Auction House.
From the Wall Street Journal: Let the art market roar. Norwegian painter Edvard Munch set a record Wednesday when his 1895 pastel of a terrified man clutching his cheeks along an Oslo fjord, “The Scream,” sold for $119.9 million at Sotheby’s—the most ever paid for a work of art at auction.
In a dogged contest at the auction house’s New York saleroom, the bidding for Munch’s “Scream” began at $40 million and shot up quickly, with five bidders from the U.S. and China competing for the sunset-colored portrait. But as the price topped $80 million, the fight came down to a pair of telephone bidders and the room, hushed as a church service, whispered as the bids logged higher. When the bidding crossed the $100 million mark, an auction first, auctioneer Tobias Meyer adjusted his tuxedo jacket and told the bidders, “Can I say I love you?” The room chuckled. After 12 minutes, the gavel fell and Charlie Moffett, a Sotheby’s specialist who often represents American buyers, fielded the anonymous winning phone bid.
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