The Secret Art Collection Of The Playboy Mansion

Epic orgies, drugs and alcohol, excess-fueled parties, secret tunnels connected  to other celebrities' mansions, ravishing women strolling across any of the 22 rooms, and eccentricities of any kind are some of the elements inherent to one of the most celebrated buildings in Los Angeles and around the world. We talk about the famous Playboy mansion that was recently sold for 100 million dollars by the original owner, multimillionaire Hugh Hefner.

In 1953, Hefner man amassed a fortune when he started a men's magazine that would quickly become a lifestyle icon: Playboy. The nude bodies of some of the most beautiful women in the planet have graced its pages. As his fortune and fame skyrocketed, Hefner purchased a mansion in 1974 that would soon become the infamous Playboy Mansion. Not only was it his home and that of his "bunnies," it was also the home of a large and extremely valuable art collection.


Among the most popular and prized works of art is the painting Playmate by Spanish painter Salvador Dalí, which the eccentric magazine owner commissioned in 1966. The painting appeared for the first time in a 1967 issue of the magazine and was then displayed in Hefner's personal room. The painting's value ranges from 100 to 150 thousand dollars. Another painting that also embellished a wall of this house was Mouth 8 by American painter Tom Wesselmann, who was part of the Pop Art movement. His works were known for their erotic and seductive portrayal of female nudes.


Hefner also had in his possession the watercolors from the Peruvian artist Alberto Vargas, distinguished for being a regular collaborator of the magazine and for his mastery in the creation of pin-up imagery.
A great variety of celebrities have visited the mansion over time. One in particular stands out from the rest since he came close to destroying one of Hefner's painting. John Lennon accidentally put out his cigarette while leaning on an original Matisse. Fortunately, it was not damaged.
The mansion also harbored a wide collection of photographs, one of them is the emblematic photo of celebrated actress Marilyn Monroe, who got the chance to be featured in the cover of the first Playboy issue. This collection is valued at 10 to 30 thousand dollars. It is believed that at one time the house had over 20 million polaroids featuring the most desired women in the world. 

On December 8, 2010 these pieces were auctioned along with others in the famous Christie's house in New York. Hefner had already done something similar when he decided to leave his house in Chicago and move to Los Angeles. The former building was donated to the Art Institute of Chicago. Although Hefner is no longer the owner of this precinct, the current owner Daren Metropoulos, agreed to allow the 90-year-old magnate spend the rest of his life there.

Art is also another word for power and prestige. For this reason, many multimillionaires with very little artistic appreciation, if any, begin to collect valuable pieces of art. This playboy's mansion was home to some of the most exquisite and erotic paintings ever to grace the world. 

Translated by Andrea Valle Gracia

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