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In the Air – Art+Auction's Gossip Column

Wall Street CEO Opens Private Museum in a Dairy Farm on His Vast Vermont Compound

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Andrew J. Hall, a one-time oil trader for Citigroup whose $100 payout in 2009 raised some legal troubles with bailed out banks and who now serves as the chief executive officer of the Astenbeck Capital Management LLC hedge fund and an Occidental Petroleum Corp. commodities-trading group, has also bought up some 2,400 acres in Reading, Vermont, a town of some 666 citizens, Bloomberg reports. There he operates Newhall Farm — which sells gourmet maple syrup, artisanal soaps, cider, honey, Berkshire pork sausages, and eggs — and the recently opened Hall Art Foundation (HAF), a private museum housed in a former dairy farm.

The inaugural roster of exhibitions at the HAF, which is open by appointment only, features solo presentations by four artists heavily represented in Hall’s collection: Georg Baselitz (installation above), A.R. Penck, Neil Jenney, and Edward Burtynsky.

Hall also owns works by Anselm Kiefer and Eric Fischl, the latter of whom portrayed the collector and his wife Christine Hall nude in one of his portrait paintings in his solo show at Mary Boone last year. Following a legal dispute over a Kiefer work in the front yard of his property in Fairfield, Connecticut in 2007, Hall had to remove the work. His holdings of the German artist’s work were featured in a 2010 exhibition at Mass MoCA.

Hall, who was born in the U.K. and educated at Oxford, began buying up property in Reading in the 1980s.

— Benjamin Sutton

(Photo: Georg Baselitz, Installation View © 2012 Hall Art Foundation.)

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