Larry Ellison's cat pictures and other art from his Japanese collection on public show

Larry Ellison's cat pictures and other art from his Japanese collection on public show

Summary: San Francisco's Asian Art museum shows "In the moment" - historic works of art from Larry Ellison's collection

TOPICS: Oracle


Today's generation of rich techies isn't known for having much interest in anything outside of their narrow world of tech. But that's not true for the older generation. Larry Ellison, founder of Oracle, is well known for his interest in Japanese art and culture. 

Now you can see 64 pieces from his collection in a new exhibit at San Francisco's Asian Art museum called, "In the moment.

Examples such as Mr. Ellison's charming cat painting from his collection (above), suggests a sensitive side to this self-assured billionaire and his lifestyle of dangerously fast sailboat racing combined with high finance and consistently excellent M&A execution that has built up Oracle into a giant in very lucrative enterprise IT markets.

He's Silicon Valley's most successful CEO in terms of his long leadership and the shareholder value he's created over a long career. Interestingly, Oracle's start was from contract work for the CIA.

Art critics have been very impressed with the art collection, describing it as one of the finest in the US. Robert Taylor, writing in the San Jose Mercury, said that Mr. Ellison "has taste as well as money."

This is not a billionaire's pretentious display of the art he's purchased. It's a superb introduction to Japanese art spanning 1,000 years…

Larry Ellison's art at Asian Art Museum - San Jose Mercury News

Maybe this will encourage the 40 year old generation of successful techies in and around Google, Facebook, Salesforce, Twitter, even Sand Hill Road, start collecting art, or get involved as patrons of the arts in some ways.  

I'd love to see what type of art Google's Larry Page and Sergey Brin would choose to collect. I'm guessing there would be a Lichtenstein and a Damien Hirst or three, (I hope they get the shark). Marc Benioff at should start an art collection, too, and lend part of it out to local museums. It's a win-win for these global brands and their local communities. 



Through: Sept. 22

Asian Art Museum, 200 Larkin St., San Francisco

10 a.m.-5 p.m. Tuesday-Sunday, until 9 p.m. Thursday

Admission: $8-$12; $5 Thursday after 5 p.m. 415-581-3500,

Cat pictures from the collection:







Topic: Oracle

Kick off your day with ZDNet's daily email newsletter. It's the freshest tech news and opinion, served hot. Get it.


1 comment
Log in or register to join the discussion
  • Bad lighting at 'In the Moment' Art Exhibit

    It's odd that so much effort was put into the automated 'times of day' display, attempting to reproduce, dusk, dawn, early morning, mid-day, evening, etc...but this, and even more so the other displays, fail miserably with lack of proper lighting.

    The 'times of day' display should have light directly across from it, as if there was a window across the room, or a candlelight on a table.

    With most of the other displays, you have to squat down LOW on the ground from certain angles to even see that the surface of the panels are even gold or silver, and ONLY then from the lower-than-standing-height can the viewer see the painted art and figures 'pop' off of the now glowing background.

    It's a shame that most people will just cruise thru and look at the otherwise dull and faded looking images and wonder what the big deal is.

    Fix your lighting, or raise the panels up higher!
    Peter Jeno