Art: The Anatomy of a Deal

How Alan Bond bought a $53.9 million painting, with more than a little help

In late 1987 the name of Alan Bond was riding very high in America, and in Australia he was a hero. "Bondy," as his country called him, was the prime mover in the syndicate that funded the design, construction and testing of Australia II, the 12-meter sloop with the controversial winged keel that swept to victory over the U.S. defender off Newport in 1983, leaving, for the first time in yachting history, an empty plinth in the New York Yacht Club where the America's Cup used to stand.

A high school dropout who emigrated from England as a boy, Bond had...

Want the full story?

Subscribe Now

Subscribe
Subscribe

Get TIME the way you want it

  • One Week Digital Pass — $4.99
  • Monthly Pay-As-You-Go DIGITAL ACCESS$2.99
  • One Year ALL ACCESSJust $30!   Best Deal!
    Print Magazine + Digital Edition + Subscriber-only Content on TIME.com

Learn more about the benefits of being a TIME subscriber

If you are already a subscriber sign up — registration is free!