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How to build a US$60m art trove while staying within your means

Heinz and Ruthe Eppler, on the advice of a museum curator, bought the best works they could afford. Their art collection tells a new story about American abstraction

Light Mechanic (1960) by Franz Kline, estimated at US$20 million, is the star of the Eppler collection at the Christie's auction in November. The Epplers paid US$900,000 - a steep price in 1985 - for this 8-foot-tall canvas by the master of muscular black strokes on white ground.

New York

WHEN Heinz and Ruthe Eppler began buying modern art in the late 1970s, the rookie collectors took the advice of a local museum curator: Buy the best works you can afford.

It turned out to be a good investment strategy. A group of 27 paintings, sculptures, and works on...

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