Following the destructive wildfire that wreaked havoc on Lahaina, Maui in Hawaii, Jeff Bezos and his partner Lauren Sánchez have unveiled the Maui Fund, aimed at assisting in the restoration of the island.
“Jeff and I are heartbroken by what’s happening in Maui,” Sánchez said on Instagram. “We are thinking of all the families that have lost so much and a community that has been left devastated.”
Bezos, the founder of Amazon and presently the world’s third wealthiest individual, acquired a mansion adjacent to La Perouse Bay on Maui’s southern shoreline in 2021, at a cost of $78 million—among his most ridiculously expensive splurges.
In doing so, he becomes part of an increasing cohort of notable figures, including Oprah Winfrey and Jason Momoa, who have committed to supporting the island’s causes.
Winfrey was spotted contributing essential supplies like cots and toiletries to local shelters. She additionally devoted time to engaging with individuals who had been uprooted by the wildfires.
Bezos and Winfrey also both believe doing this is essential
Another way that Bezos and Winfrey are united is that they are both avid art collectors. A few years ago, he shocked the art world by setting multiple records. First, he purchased “Hurting the Word Radio #2” by Ed Ruscha, for a record $52.5 million at Christie’s. The second, “Vignette 19” by Kerry James Marshall, sold for $18.5 million at Sotheby’s, more than doubling its high estimate.
Winfrey’s art investing endeavors can only be described as wildly successful. In 2014, Winfrey bought “Portrait of Adele Bloch-Bauer II” in 2006 for $87.9 million at Christie’s. Just three years later, she sold the same painting for over $150 million, for a whopping 71 percent profit.
Not to be outdone, rival billionaire Bill Gates’ investment into art is equally as impressive. Estimated to be valued at $124.3 million, even including a work by the legendary Leonardo da Vinci.
Gates’s first known major art purchase, was “Distance Thunder,” a 1961 painting by Andrew Wyeth. Gates bought it for $7 million in 1996.
His most famous acquisition is “Lost on the Grand Banks” painted in 1898 by American artist Winslow Homer.
Gates bought it on the centenary of its painting for an eye-watering $36 million—the highest price ever paid for an American painting at the time.
Finally, Gates purchased the famous Codex Leicester—a particularly coveted collection of Leonardo da Vinci’s writings—for $19 million and then scanned and distributed it digitally.
“I really had a lot of dreams when I was a kid, and I think a great deal of that grew out of the fact that I had a chance to read a lot.” Gates once said.
There can be little doubt that his art is one of his most coveted investments. And it’s paying off big time. If you’re looking to invest in the blue-chip art market like Jeff Bezos Bill Gates, you can use this exclusive link to get started in just a few minutes—without needing his billions.