What Artworks Did Billionaire Elaine Wynn Get From Her Divorce?

Billionaire art patron and philanthropist Elaine Wynn, famous for her record-breaking purchase of a $142 million Francis Bacon triptych at Christie’s, has expensive tastes. After all, she can afford it—Forbes estimated her current net worth as $1.52 billion.

In a recent interview with the New York Times, Wynn discusses her first reaction to seeing the Bacon work as “gobsmacked,” and decided to bid well above the $85 million estimate. When the Wynn Resorts co-founder divorced her ex-husband Stephen Wynn, in a reportedly amicable divorce in 2010, the pair divided their personal art collection.

Since their tastes were different, “there was no tug of war,” she told the Times. Wynn parted with the Picassos and chose a 1880 Édouard Manet pastel of Suzette Lemaire, an abstract painting by Joan Mitchell, and a textile work by Jim Hodges.

Joan Mitchell in her studio in Vétheuil, 1983 Photo: © Robert Freson, collection of the Archive of the Joan Mitchell Foundation, courtesy Kunsthaus Bregenz

Joan Mitchell in her studio in Vétheuil, 1983.
Photo: © Robert Freson, collection of the Archive of the Joan Mitchell Foundation, courtesy Kunsthaus Bregenz.

Wynn’s ex-husband, whose net worth is $2.7 billion, according to Forbes‘s estimate, is also well-known for his vast collection of masterpieces including works by Rembrandt, Johannes Vermeer, Vincent van Gogh, and the famous 1932 oil painting Le Rêve by Picasso, which he recently sold to Steve Cohen.

Having such high-profile purchases came at a personal price—in 1993, the pair’s daughter, Kevyn, was kidnapped. They paid the $1.45 million ransom for her safe return.

Steve and Elaine Wynn are credited with revamping the Las Vegas strip, building several hotel-casinos under Wynn Resorts including the Wynn Las Vegas, Encore Las Vegas, the Mirage, and Bellagio.

In 2011, Wynn joined the board of trustees at Los Angeles County Museum of Art (LACMA). This summer, she was elected co-chair, along with billionaire private equity founder Antony Ressler.

Related stories:

$65 Million Manet Leads at Christie’s $165 Milliom Sale

Top 200 Art Collectors 2015 Part Two

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