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Why This Fund Manager Paid $15 Million for a Painting Estimated at $200,000

Bill Perkins came to Christie’s and sparked an epic bidding war. He says it was worth it.

Ernie Barnes’s The Sugar Shack (1976).

Ernie Barnes’s The Sugar Shack (1976).

Courtesy Christie's

The Houston-based hedge fund manager Bill Perkins walked into Christie’s on Thursday night, May 12, planning to spend $2 million. An hour or so later, he left having spent $15,275,000.

“The plans went awry, to put it mildly,” he says, speaking the next day. “I was shocked, but I knew it was a possibility.”