Bitter Divorce Results in Epic Art Auction

Sotheby's estimates the Macklowe collection could fetch $600M
By John Johnson,  Newser Staff
Posted Sep 10, 2021 2:08 PM CDT
This Might Be the Biggest Art Auction Ever
This one isn't for sale.   (Getty/ChamilleWhite)

You can't put a price on love. But you can put a price on the art collection that must be sold when love goes bust. In this case, Sotheby's figures $600 million. That staggering figure is the highest estimate for any collection that has ever come to auction, per CNN. The collection belongs to real estate mogul Harry Macklowe and his former wife, Linda, and it includes work from Pablo Picasso, Cy Twombly, Mark Rothko, Jeff Koons, and Andy Warhol, among others. The Macklowes began collecting decades ago, but they went through a particularly nasty divorce a few years ago. When the couple couldn't agree on valuations for the artwork, a court ordered the auction, reports the New York Times.

To say this has been highly anticipated in the art world might be an understatement, especially given the relatively sluggish sales amid the pandemic. In fact, the first attempt to stage the auction had to be postponed last year because of the coronavirus. In all, 65 pieces will be sold in two events—the first in November and the second in May. Among the pieces to be sold are Warhol's "Nine Marilyns" and an untitled 2007 painting by Twombly, each of which might fetch up to $60 million. (See the entire collection here.) It's a "trophy hunter's dream," observed Artnet last year. (More art auction stories.)

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