- Associated Press - Tuesday, March 20, 2012

NEW YORK (AP) - Works of art collected by the late Wall Street financier Theodore Forstmann are set to be sold at auction this spring and could fetch as much as $75 million, Sotheby’s announced Tuesday.

About 50 pieces from his collection will be offered across several sales in May, with the most important works highlighting Sotheby’s impressionist and modern art auction on May 2 and the contemporary art sale on May 9, the auction house said.

Forstmann died of brain cancer in October at age 71. He was senior founding partner of the investment firm Forstmann Little & Co., one of Wall Street’s most successful specialists in leveraged buyouts. He was also chairman and CEO of the sports marketing giant IMG, which he acquired in 2004.

Among the sale highlights is Pablo Picasso’s 1941 portrait of his muse, Dora Maar, titled “Seated Woman in an Armchair.” Sotheby’s said it is expected to sell for $20 million to $30 million.

Other paintings being sold include works by Roy Lichtenstein, Jean-Michel Basquiat, Paul Gauguin and Joan Miro.

Some of the works will be exhibited in Los Angeles, Hong Kong and London prior to the sales.

Forstmann was a philanthropist and co-founded of the Children’s Scholarship Fund, director of the International Rescue Committee and a trustee of the Nelson Mandela Children’s Fund.

He had also signed “The Giving Pledge” in which America’s wealthiest people pledge to give away at least half of their fortunes.

Forbes estimated Forstmann’s net worth at $1.8 billion as of September 2011.