Historical Auction: $ 600 Million Artwork to be Sold After Divorce of New York Billionaire Couple

One of the largest art collections on the market will be sold at auction following a high-profile divorce.

A spectacular collection of works of art signed by Pablo Picasso, Andy Warhol, Mark Rothko, and Alberto Giacometti will be put up for auction soon by Sotheby's. It is a collection with an almost mythical status in the art world that belonged to a divorced couple of New York billionaires.

The collection belongs to Harry and Linda Macklowe, a spectacularly rich New York couple.
Harry and Linda Macklowe
Harry and Linda Macklowe have spent two years arguing over how to value and split their famous collection NICHOLAS HUNT/GETTY IMAGES
Harry is one of New York’s best-known property developers while his ex-wife is a prominent figure in the city’s art scene and an honorary trustee of the Metropolitan Museum of Art and a trustee of the Guggenheim foundation. They decided to divorce after 59 years of marriage.

The divorce proceedings started five years ago and a judge ordered that 65 of the most valuable artworks should be sold and the money split between the two.

The Artworks Have an Estimated Value of $ 600 Million

On Thursday, Sotheby’s announced that the famous collection will be sold in November 2021 and in May 2022. The 65 works that will be auctioned have an estimated value of 600 million dollars.

At an online press conference, Sotheby's CEO Charles Stewart said it is "the largest collection of modern and contemporary art ever put on sale on the market."
Harry and Linda Macklowe Auction
Photo Credit Sotheby's

"This collection was assembled with an unparalleled eye over several decades. (...) There can be no doubt that this sale will captivate top collectors from around the world and will enter history as a defining moment in the art market", Charles Stewart said.

The famous house reported that the total value of $ 600 million in these works of art is the highest estimate ever placed on a collection to come to auction.
The Macklowe Collection: Masterworks of Modern and Contemporary Art
Photo Credit Sotheby's

The top collectors who will bid for pieces in the Macklowe collection will need to have deep pockets.
Giacometti's "Le Nez" and Rothko's "No.7" could each sell for more than $ 70 million, according to the organizers. Warhol's famous "Nine Marilyns" was estimated at between $ 40 million and $ 60 million.

A sculpture of wire and tin, made by Picasso and designed as a funerary monument to mark the 10th commemoration of the 1918 death of writer Guillaume Apollinaire, could be sold for $ 20 million. Stewart promised a "historical auction" and an event that "will mark Sotheby's 277-year-old art market and history."

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