Austrian billionaire Heidi Horten dies days after art museum opens

Top line

Austrian billionaire Heidi Horten died on Sunday at the age of 81, the Heidi Horton Collection announced in a statement, days after the opening of a private museum in Vienna showcasing her nearly one-year art collection. billion dollars.


Horten died early Sunday morning at her home in Lake Wörthersee, Austria, in what the museum called a “completely unexpected death.”

Horten opened his own museum showcasing his private art collection earlier this month, which has over 16,000 square feet of exhibition space and is dedicated to emerging and mid-career artists, many of whom are Austrians. .

Horten became an overnight sensation in the world of art collecting in 1996, when she spent up to $22 million on art at a single Sotheby’s auction, acquiring pieces by Francis Bacon, Pierre-Auguste Renoir, Paul Klee and others.

The Heidi Horten Collection has announced that it will commemorate the death of its founder with free entry next week starting Monday.

Large number

$2.9 billion. That was Horten’s net worth on Sunday, making her the 1,040th richest person on the planet, according to Forbes‘ estimates.

Key context

Horten met her future husband, Helmut Horten, founder of the German department store Horten AG, at a bar in Austria in 1959. When Helmut Horten died in 1987, Horten inherited a fortune of approximately $1 billion. . Horten began collecting art before her husband’s death and eventually owned hundreds of works, including pieces by Pablo Piccasso and Andy Warhol. In addition to her artistic patronage, Horten has also served as president of KAC, an Austrian hockey team, and served on the board of Helmut Horten Stiftung, a charitable foundation supporting medical research and healthcare institutions.

crucial quote

“I am proud, with my collection and the construction of the museum, to have created something lasting, which future generations will also be able to experience by visiting my museum and enjoying the art that has given me so much joy for so long. said Horten in a statement posted on his museum’s website before his death.

Mildred D. Field