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Oprah Sells Gustav Klimt Painting for $150 Million

by Avalon Zoppo /
Oprah WinfreyRichard Shotwell / AP

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Oprah Winfrey already has a long resumé that includes talk show host, entrepreneur and philanthropist — but some may not know that art collector also appears on the list.

Bloomberg reported that Winfrey recently sold a Gustav Klimt painting for $150 million to a wealthy Chinese buyer, grossing an extra $62 million, in what is being hailed as "the biggest private art deal of 2016."

The OWN network founder bought "Portrait of Adele Bloch-Bauer II" in 2006 for $87.9 million, but Winfrey decided to sell the painting for $150 million after its value skyrocketed by 71 percent, Bloomberg reported. NBC News has not independently confirmed the sale.

 Portrait of Adele Bloch-Bauer II, 1912 Oil on canvas Private Collection Neue Galerie / Neue Galerie

After Winfrey temporarily loaned the painting to the Museum of Modern Art in 2014, art dealer Larry Gagosian reportedly lined up an interested buyer who was willing to pay upwards of $100 million. The painting was hanging in the fifth floor of the museum until August 15, 2016.

Before being handed over to the new owner, the painting was on display in the Neue Galerie in New York from Sept. 22 to Jan. 16. Calls to Winfrey's representatives and the Gagosian gallery were not returned.

Winfrey, however, is not new to the art world.

In 2015, the 63-year-old CEO held an auction from her Chicago condo where she sold off some of her artwork, including pieces from American Impressionist Francis Coates Jones and British-born painter Maud Earl. Also up for sale were "Summer Afternoon" by William H. Clapp and "Cubist House" by Albert Bertalan.

Related: Oprah's Rule of Empowerment

“I have long revered Ms. Winfrey as a collector,” Leslie Hindman, founder of Leslie Hindman Auctioneers, said in a statement prior to the 2015 auction. "I once met with Ms. Winfrey in 2003, and we discussed my perspectives and advice regarding collecting. It was immediately evident that she had extensive market knowledge and had made it a priority to form relationships with dealers, collectors and industry contacts to make informed decisions regarding acquisitions.”

Winfrey's recently sold 1912 painting by early 20th century Austrian artist Klimt depicts Adele Bloch-Bauer I, the wife of a rich industrialist from Vienna, according to the MoMA. Nazis stole the painting in 1938 along with other artworks that belonged to the family, and the painting was not returned to the Bloch-Bauer heirs until 2006 following legal battles with the Austrian government.

Those legal battles were translated into the 2015 drama film "Woman in Gold" starring Helen Mirren, about a Jewish refugee, Maria Altmann, who fought the Austrian government to recover the stolen painting of her aunt, Adele Bloch-Bauer I.

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