When Ruth Bader Ginsburg died in 2020, six weeks before the presidential election, the questions on everyone’s lips were: What will happen to her expansive art collection? Who will get the Picassos? Finally, we have our answers.
It’s all up for auction at the Potomack Company in Alexandria, Virginia, and bidding is now open. If you have tens of thousands of dollars at your disposal, you can own anything from a ceramic plate by Picasso to an Andy Warhol Campbell’s soup tote bag to a mink coat worn by the Justice herself.
But who has time to look through all those paintings and baubles to find the perfect piece for their home? Well, I do, so now I’m your art buyer. Here are the hottest items from the Ginsburg auction, ranked by how much I want them in my own home.
10. This Ominous Painting of the Twin Towers
The auction site does not say when this painting by Hei Fing was done, so it’s either a portent of tragedy or a commentary on it. Either way, kind of a freaky little thing to have in your home.
9. A Portrait of Justice Ginsburg
I’ll be honest, if this was in someone’s house I would never believe that they had paid at least $7,500 (the current bid) for it. I would think that they purchased it on Etsy and gotten it framed at Michael’s. Then we’d have to have a whole conversation about how they actually bought it from Justice Ginsburg’s estate and I’d be like, “Oh. Cool.”
7. This Legitimately Cool Rauschenberg
To paraphrase Marge Simpson, I just think it’s neat.
6. A Plaque
I like this plaque because if you were to hang it in your home you could make up some elaborate story about how it came into your possession. Maybe you were invited to a salon at Justice Ginsburg’s house and stole it, maybe she’s your distant relative and this is what was left to you in the will, maybe the name on your birth certificate is “The Honorable Ruth Bader Ginsburg.” The possibilities are endless and all plausible, because who would buy this with their own hard-earned money?
5. Any of the Picassos
There are four Picassos in Justice Ginsburg’s collection, but I like this guy because of that nervous look on his face. If that’s not your speed, you could go for the jug, or the other plate, or the engraving of what I think is a horse — Ruth loved a ceramic. These would be higher on the list, but I’ve seen Nanette. #PicassoIsOverParty.
4. A Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead Poster
You might be asking yourself why RBG had a poster for a high school production of a Tom Stoppard play in her collection. I too was wondering, and realized it’s because Paul Spera is her grandson. This is the perfect piece for someone who is obsessed with both Justice Ginsburg’s family tree and arts education.
3. A Mink Coat
The ideal buyer here is a tiny, fashionable person or a vegan artist looking to make some kind of statement about liberals and animal rights by splattering this with pig’s blood.
2. A Hofstra University Paperweight
1. Another Portrait of Justice Ginsburg
This piece, done by the previously mentioned Paul Spera, really captures Justice Ginsburg’s essence. I have never seen a piece of art that so deftly sees its subject and reflects it back through the lens of American iconography. This is the finest piece in the auction, and based on my expert opinion should be going for $100,000 at the very least. It is a true masterpiece, and will hopefully be on loan at the National Portrait Gallery in the coming years.