Disgraced comedian Bill Cosby and his wife, Camille, quietly sold off a prized art piece from their vast collection earlier this year, likely netting them millions.
It's not known how much Cosby sold Thomas Hart Benton's "Going West" for, but the piece sold earlier this year. It was put up for sale at Morse's Granary Gallery on Martha's Vineyard, where the famed artist spent many summers.
Bloomberg reported that Camille also pledged another Benton painting, "The Instruction," as collateral for a loan from an art finance firm.
Experts suggest that the combined value of "Going West" and "The Instruction" is between $12 million to $14 million. Jet magazine said in 1978 that "The Cosby Show" star, 81, paid $105,000 for "The Instruction." "Going West" likely cost more.
Buck Kiechel, the owner of an art gallery in Lincoln, Nebraska, said "Going West" is "arguably the greatest American painting from the 1920s that wasn't painted by Edward Hopper."
The work has only been exhibited publicly twice since it was painted in 1926, according to the Vineyard Gazette.
The Cosby's have many more pricey works, too. David Driskell, the couple's former curator, wrote in his "The Other Side of Color" book that Bill and Camille have acquired at least 300 works by artists like Renoir, Rembrandt, Picasso and Matisse.
Driskell called the Cosby's collection "significant."
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