On May 16, Sotheby’s New York will hold an auction of 26 masterworks belonging to Morton Mandel and his wife Barbara. The collection includes works by Joan Miró, Mark Rothko, Roy Lichtenstein and Donald Judd; and the couple hopes to raise in excess of $75m for their foundation, which supports philanthropic activities – including urban renewal in Mandel’s native Cleveland, education and aid for Jewish communities – across the US and in Israel. Mandel’s rags-to-riches story has been described as the “epitome of the American dream”. The son of Eastern European immigrants who arrived in America in the early 20th century, he started out, aged 13, selling drinks at his local sports stadium; later, he and his brothers ganged together to buy an auto-parts distribution company, which they eventually parlayed into a multibillion dollar asset. The paintings are on public view at Sotheby’s New York now.