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Lehman Brothers $10 Million Art Collection on Display Ahead of Sotheby's Auction

By Della Hasselle | September 20, 2010 5:01pm | Updated on September 21, 2010 6:19am

By Della Hasselle

DNAinfo Reporter/Producer

UPPER EAST SIDE — A Damien Hirst installation worth $1.2 million, along with several other expensive works of modern art, will be part of a $10 million collection put on the auction block by trustees running the Lehman Brothers bankruptcy.

Two years after the Wall Street firm filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy, Sotheby's is auctioning off a collection that includes Andy Warhol, Richard Prince, John Currin, Olafur Eliasson, Ed Ruscha, Cindy Sherman and Takashi Murakami this coming Saturday.

Southeby's opened its doors Sunday to give the public a look at the art for sale.

The collection includes some of the most valuable art from the latter half of the 20th century, including Damien Hirst's famous 1993 piece "We've Got Style," which by itself is expected to net between $800,000 and $1.2 million.

"The caliber is right up there with institution collecting," Sotheby's vice president for contemporary art, Gabriela Palmieri, said Monday.

Saturday's auction, featuring 160 pieces, is expected to bring in more than $10 million, according to Sotheby's.

Proceeds from the auction will go toward paying off Lehman's debt, but that's not what drew some of the art collectors who turned up on Monday.

"[The art] is just a thrill, it's great," said Mark Williams, a gallery owner from California who was previewing the collection. "I didn't even know it was from Lehman Brothers."

After thinking a moment, he seemed to connect the dots.

"Raising cash, huh? How about that!"