Alec N. Wildenstein
August 5, 1940|
Marseille, Bouches-du-Rhône, France
18, 2008 (aged 67)|
|Cause of death||Prostate cancer|
|Occupation||Art dealer, racehorse owner and breeder|
Jocelyne Périsset |
Diane Wildenstein |
Alec Wildenstein, Jr.
Daniel Wildenstein &|
|Relatives||Guy Wildenstein (brother)|
Born in Marseille, Wildenstein was raised in New York City where his family owned and operated an art gallery. In 1875, his great-grandfather founded a business dealing in art and his father, Daniel, was a distinguished scholar of Impressionism who prepared catalogues raisonnés with a referencing that became known as a Wildenstein Index Number. Overshadowed by a dominant father who did not think a university education was necessary for his two sons to work in the family business, on his father's death in 2001, Wildenstein inherited half of a business empire estimated at US$10 billion that included what was believed to be the world's largest private collection of major works of art.
In 1977, his family purchased a 49% stake for Wildenstein in the 66,000-acre Ol Jogi Ranch on the Laikipia Plateau in Kenya. In 1985, the family acquired 100% ownership. On April 30, 1978, he married Jocelyne Périsset whom he met when she was a guest at the ranch. They had a daughter, Diane, followed by a son, Alec. Jr. Their 1997–1999 divorce proceedings gained wide media coverage for revelations of the couple's extravagant spending habits plus Mrs. Wildenstein's fondness for cosmetic surgery.
Wildenstein died at age 67 in 2008 of prostate cancer. He is survived by his two children and his second wife, Liouba Stoupakova, a native of Russia whom he married in 2000.
Daniel Wildenstein was one of the preeminent racehorse owner/breeders in the history of French horse racing who owned the Haras du Bois-Roussel breeding farm in Alençon. Alec Wildenstein shared his father's passion for both Thoroughbreds in flat and steeplechase racing and Standardbreds for harness racing. His Ecurie Wildenstein racing stable hired Elie Lellouche and Dominique Sepulchre to train his flat horses, and Jean-Paul Gallorini and Marcel Rolland for his steeplechase runners.
Wildenstein raced a number of successful horses including:
- Westerner – won Ascot Gold Cup, Prix du Cadran, Prix Royal-Oak, 2004 & 2005 European Champion Stayer
- Vallee Enchantee – won the Hong Kong Vase
- ↑ "French Owner Alec Wildenstein Dead". BloodHorse.com. February 18, 2008. http://www.bloodhorse.com/horse-racing/articles/43703/french-owner-alec-wildenstein-dead.