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Divorced Macklowes’ art collection rakes in $922 million

Monday sale in New York brings in $246.1 million; auction of 35 artworks in November had yielded $676 million, a Sotheby’s record

Cy Twombly's 'Untitled' is on display at Sotheby's auction house, during a press preview for the upcoming The Macklowe Collection auction, November 5, 2021, in New York. (AP Photo/Mary Altaffer)
Cy Twombly's 'Untitled' is on display at Sotheby's auction house, during a press preview for the upcoming The Macklowe Collection auction, November 5, 2021, in New York. (AP Photo/Mary Altaffer)

Since the 2016 divorce proceedings of real estate developer Harry Macklowe and his ex-wife, Linda, the art collection they are selling as part of their agreement has garnered $922.2 million, making it the most expensive collection auctioned.

Sotheby’s auction house offered 30 works from the Macklowe Collection on Monday in New York, including works by Pablo Picasso, Mark Rothko, Andy Warhol, and other modern artists.

The first sale of 35 artworks in November raked in $676 million — the highest-ever total for a Sotheby’s auction, according to the auction broker.

The November sale included a multicolored Rothko canvas, “No. 7,” that sold for $82.4 million, Jackson Pollock’s “Number 17,” which went for $61 million, and Warhol’s “Nine Marilyns,” which nabbed $47 million.

The final 30 works sold on Monday evening for a combined $246.1 million, with works by Jeff Koons, Gerhard Richter, Willem de Kooning, and Agnes Martin, according to Sotheby’s. Highlights included another untitled painting by Rothko, which sold for $48 million, and a self-portrait by Warhol that fetched $18.7 million.

The previous record for an auctioned art collection was the Peggy and David Rockefeller Collection, which reached a total of $835.1 million at Christie’s in 2018.

Photographers, near the artwork, ‘Andy Warhol, Self-Portrait, 1986,’ during a photocall for artworks from the Macklowe Collection at Sotheby’s, prior to the collection being offered at auction in New York, in London, on February 18, 2022. (Stefan Rousseau/PA via AP)

Sotheby’s in London publicly displayed the works from this week’s auction until March, when the items went on tour at Palm Beach, Taipei, Hong Kong, Shanghai, and New York ahead of the auction.

The Macklowes spent 40 years assembling a collection by some of the 20th century’s greatest artists, displaying many of them in their apartment in Manhattan’s Plaza building.

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