Donald Trump

Trump Sketch Sells at Auction for $16,000

Trump's 1995 drawing of the Empire State Building via NYTimes

Trump's 1995 drawing of the Empire State Building via NYTimes

A drawing by Donald Trump of the Empire State Building sold at auction in Los Angeles for a hammer price of USD $16,000. Trump drew the 9" x 12" sketch in 1995 for a charity auction at his Mar-a-Lago estate. It initially sold for USD $100.

At the time that he produced the drawing, Trump was attempting to purchase the Empire State Building. The effort failed and he was ultimately forced to sell his stake in the landmark property.

In 2016, the median size of grants given by the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) was less than USD $20,000. As president, Trump has proposed to eliminate the NEA entirely. The NEA is working out of a temporary office space at present, having been displaced from the building which was transformed into the Trump International Hotel - Washington.

Warhol vs. Trump in the 1980s


Since it's hard not to focus at this moment on how everything relates to Donald Trump, we might as well look back at his historical interactions with the art world. The Warhol Blog has an interesting overview of the artist's experiences with Trump during the 1980s. The two first met at a birthday party for notorious attorney and Trump advisor Roy Cohn in 1981. They subsequently encountered each other at The Factory in an arranged meeting to discuss commissions for Trump Tower. Although it was not yet built, Warhol produced a series of silkscreens with diamond dust based on the architectural models for the building.

When Trump came back to view the paintings, he reportedly was unhappy about the colors. Trump had already selected the basic gold and pink color scheme that persists in the building to this day and wanted paintings that would precisely match. Also, he balked at the price of the works. Warhol's perception was that, despite his efforts to develop an eponymous brand identified with luxury and excess, Trump himself was rather "cheap." The budding tycoon never purchased any of Warhol's paintings, and the artist disparaged him in all of his subsequent diary entries. Today, most of Warhol's "Trump Tower" paintings are in the Warhol Museum in Pittsburgh.