Jose Mugrabi

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Jose Mugrabi
Born1939 (age 78–79)
Jerusalem, Israel
ResidenceNew York City, US
OccupationIndustrialist and art collector
Known forOwner of 800 Andy Warhol artworks
Children2 sons

Jose Mugrabi (born 1939) is an Israeli businessman and art collector.[1] He is the leading collector of Andy Warhol, with 800 artworks.

Early life[edit]

Jose Mugrabi (Yosef Mugrabi) was born to a Syrian-Jewish family in Jerusalem. He grew up in the Mahane Yehuda neighborhood. His family managed a grocery store in Nahalat Ahim.


At the age of 16, he went to Colombia, to stay with relatives and became involved in the textile business. Starting as an errand boy, he became one of the country's major importers.[2] In 1982, he moved to New York, where he met art dealer Jeffrey Deitch and began collecting art.[1]

Art collection[edit]

Mugrabi owns the world's largest collection of paintings by Andy Warhol.[3] His art collection includes works by Renoir, Picasso, Rodin, Ernst, Daumier, Damien Hirst and Jeff Koons, in addition to 800 Warhols.[3] Their art is stored in Zurich and near Newark, New Jersey.[4] In 2008, the Wall Street Journal reported on how the Mugrabis were said by several art dealers to be "doing whatever they can to keep Warhol prices high, including occasionally overpaying -- or overcharging -- for the artworks."[4]

In November 1988, at Sotheby's in New York, he set a new world record for Warhol's work when he purchased "Twenty Marilyns" for $3.96m.[5] In May 2002 he acquired one of Duchamp's Fountain Readymades for $1 million.[6] He owns the largest collection of Philippe Pasqua's paintings.[7]

Relationship with Bernard Madoff[edit]

The Fairfield Sentry fund required a $100,000 minimum investment and was billed as a way to tap Bernard Madoff's trading expertise using "algorithmic technology" while Fairfield with due diligence conducted "systematic investment compliance".[8] The Mugrabis, who have lived in New York for more than 20 years and were long time friends of Piedrahita (a Colombian who had married Mr. Noel’s eldest daughter, Corina), were investors.

The fund had more than $7 billion invested with Madoff, and became one of his largest victims. It was Fairfield's signature fund, one of several feeder funds through which money from wealthy foreign investors could capitalize on Mr. Madoff’s supposed investment acumen. Its marketing prospectus promised low volatility and steady returns, and boasted 11 percent annual return over the last 15 years, with only 13 losing months, a record that grew increasingly desirable over recent years of volatility.[9] The fund was backed by loans from banks including Banco Bilbao Vizcaya Argentaria and Nomura Holdings, which invested about $304 million.[8]

"We had very little money with the fund — just under a million dollars — so I am not that upset personally," said Alberto Mugrabi, a son of the family patriarch. "It was a very informal thing. We know Andrés (Piedrahita) since forever, from Bogotá, he’s a great guy, and he says to us, ‘This is the Madoff thing, he’s the master.’ I trusted Andrés. I still trust him."[10]

Personal life[edit]

Mugrabi lives in Manhattan with his wife, Mary.[1] They have two sons, Alberto Mugrabi and David Mugrabi.[4][11]

In September 2016, Alberto, 46, married Colby Jordan, 23, daughter of investor Jay W. Jordan II, at the Hôtel du Cap-Eden-Roc in Antibes, France.[12][13][14]

In July 2018, David and his wife Libbie Mugrabi filed for divorce after 13 years of marriage, with two children.[15]

In 2015, his nephew Alberto Aroch Mugrabi was facing charges of laundering as much as $300 million.[16]


  1. ^ a b c "Warholic, Haaretz, May 15, 2009". Retrieved 21 August 2018.
  2. ^ "Jose Mugrabi Has a Lot of Toys He Never Plays With". Retrieved 21 August 2018.
  3. ^ a b "- ArtNews". Retrieved 21 August 2018.
  4. ^ a b c Crow, Kelly (4 January 2008). "The Man With 800 Warhols". Retrieved 21 August 2018 – via
  5. ^ Sunday Times; Scores of Warhols to be sold off in giant private art deal; 13 May 2007
  6. ^ Sunday Mail Bizarre stories from around the world 26 May 2002
  7. ^ Lankarani, Nazanin (26 February 2008). "New York dealers and collectors are discovering Philippe Pasqua, a Parisian painter of flesh, skulls and butterflies". The New York Times. Retrieved 23 March 2018.
  8. ^ a b
  9. ^ Henriques, Diana B. "Madoff Scheme Kept Rippling Outward, Across Borders". Retrieved 21 August 2018.
  10. ^ Henriques, Diana B. "Madoff Scheme Kept Rippling Outward, Across Borders". Retrieved 21 August 2018.
  11. ^ "Art Collector David Mugrabi Sues Mana Contemporary for Holding His Collection 'Hostage' - artnet News". 24 October 2017. Retrieved 21 August 2018.
  12. ^ Martin, Guy. "Inside the Multimillion-Dollar, Celebrity-Filled Wedding of Colby Jordan and Alberto 'Tico' Mugrabi". Retrieved 21 August 2018.
  13. ^ "Colby Jordan Marries Alberto "Tico" Mugrabi in a Star-Studded Affair in the South of France". Retrieved 21 August 2018.
  14. ^ "Alberto Mugrabi to Wed Finanicer's Daughter Colby Jordan - artnet News". 11 July 2016. Retrieved 21 August 2018.
  15. ^ "The Mugrabi Family's Storied Art Collection Has Become a Focal Point in Nasty Divorce Proceedings - artnet News". 20 August 2018. Retrieved 21 August 2018.
  16. ^ Nonsense, Stuff and. "Latin IQ". Retrieved 21 August 2018.