Huge Art Collection at Stake as Harry Macklowe Leaves Longtime Wife, Linda

One writer estimates the collection at $1 billion.

Harry Macklowe and Linda Macklowe. Photo Patrick McMullan/A. Scott.

Real estate developer Harry Macklowe is leaving his wife of 57 years, Linda Macklowe.

Likely to be at issue is the couple’s massive postwar and contemporary art collection, reports Page SixIn her book The Liar’s Ball, which focuses on Macklowe’s purchase of Midtown Manhattan’s General Motors Building, Vicky Ward put a value of about $1 billion on the collection. Works by Franz Kline, Gerhard Richter, and Mark Rothko are included, she writes. In 1997, Judd Tully reported for artnet Magazine that Harry Macklowe picked up a Kline at auction for some $2.2 million at Sotheby’s New York.

Linda Macklowe, née Burg, is a former curator and current member of the board of trustees at New York’s Guggenheim Museum; according to the Real Deal, she “is considered the brains behind one of the most valuable private art collections in the industry.”

Harry Macklowe is currently erecting a residential tower at 432 Park Avenue that, at 1,396 feet, will be the tallest of its kind in the world. According to the building’s website, apartments are currently available at prices ranging from $17.5 million for a 36th-floor residence to $39.75 million for an impressive spot on the 91st floor. Penthouses have already sold for $95 million, reports the New York Times.

Page Six reports that Macklowe has taken up with Patricia Landeau, president of the French Friends of the Israel Museum, in Jerusalem.

“This is going to be a blockbuster divorce,” a source told the New York Post. “There’s a few billion dollars at play here, plus an astonishing art collection.”

High-profile splits between art collecting couples can resolved amicably, however. Last year, Elaine Wynn revealed that her and her ex-husband Steve Wynn’s tastes were so different that it was easy to choose who got what art during the divorce.

Representatives of Harry and Linda Macklowe did not immediately respond to a request for confirmation.

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