Massive auction of Miller art planned

The art collection in the estate of Columbus industrialist J. Irwin Miller and his wife, Xenia, could bring $80 million next month at a Christie’s auction in Europe, according to The Republic of Columbus.

The collection includes works from artists including Pablo Picasso, Henri Matisse and Andy Warhol, among others. A painting of water lilies by Claude Monet, “Le Bassin Aux Nympheas,” could bring $35 million.

Xenia Miller died in February at age 90, and J. Irwin Miller, the former CEO of Cummins Engine Co., died in 2004 at age 94. Both also were well-known philanthropists.

Christie’s calls the auction “the most important and valuable collection of Impressionist and Modern Art ever offered” in its history, the newspaper reported.

Triggering the sale was the need by heirs including son Will Miller, CEO of Columbus-based Irwin Financial Corp., to pay taxes on their inheritance.

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