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The Macklowe Collection becomes the most valuable collection ever sold at auction, achieving a total of $922.2 million

The Macklowe art collection, subject to the high-profile divorce proceedings of New York real estate developer Harry Macklowe and his wife, Linda, became the most expensive art collection sold at an auction.

Pieces from Pollock, Picasso, and Warhol are among the 35 artworks in the collection

The art collection achieved a total of $922.2 million over the course of the year of two different sales. Last November, a batch of 35 artworks went under the hammer. It included a work by abstract painter Mark Rothko that fetched $82.5 million, Jackson Pollock’s “Number 17, 1951” sold for over $61 million setting a new record for the artist’s work, Andy Warhol’s Self Portrait sold for $18.7 million, Willem de Kooning’s Untitled went for $17.8 million and pieces from Pablo Picasso, and Cy Twombly.  The other 30 works sold at first combined for a total of $246.1 million, with pieces by Gerhard Richter, Agnes Martin, and other great artists. By the end of the auction, every work had been sold.

Sotheby’s role in the auction

Sotheby’s won the rights to sell the Macklowe works back in September. Grégoire Billault, chairman of contemporary art for Sotheby’s, expressed that the collection has never been moved or touched. Sotheby’s described the paintings as the “most significant collection of modern and contemporary art to ever appear on the market.” The collection exceeded the $835.1 million that the Rockefeller collection sold for in 2018.

During Machlowe’s divorce proceedings a  judge ruled in 2018 that they should sell all 65 works and split the profits. Later on, the auction was the highlight of the 2021 Fall season, the sale lasted more than two hours, during which all 35 pieces were sold, four of them for more than $50 million. Now, it’s fair to say the divorce has been successfully settled.