Divorce war in New York: World’s most expensive private collection auctioned for $246.1 million

Most expensive private collection in the world
Divorce war creates an art record

Harry and Linda Macklowe are a very rich married couple until the two fight a veritable divorce war. Both are still rich, but they are rid of the joint art collection at the behest of the court. The proceeds from several auctions set a record.

The famous Macklowe collection is now officially the most expensive private art collection ever auctioned. Sotheby’s auction house sold another selection of works for a total of $246.1 million, bringing the collection’s total value to $922.2 million, a house spokesman said. The value of the collection surpassed that of the Rockefeller family, which went under the hammer in 2018 for $835.1 million.

This was the second auction of works from the Macklowe Collection. Already last November 35 works were auctioned for 676.1 million dollars before the remaining 30 were sold on Monday. Highlights from Monday’s auction included Mark Rothko’s Untitled, which fetched $48 million, and Gerhard Richter’s Seestück, which fetched $30.2 million. Andy Warhol’s “Self-Portrait” sold for $18.7 million, while Willem de Kooning’s “Untitled” fetched $17.8 million. Sotheby’s described the paintings as “the most important collection of modern and contemporary art that has ever appeared on the market”.

The collection was the subject of a divorce war between New York real estate developer Harry Macklowe and his ex-wife Linda. During the divorce proceedings, the two couldn’t agree on how much the collection was worth. A judge then ruled that the two should sell all 65 works and split the profits.

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