New York's Nastiest Divorce Continues... With A $676 Million Art Auction

by Guest of A Guest · November 16, 2021

    Once upon a time in New York, Harry Macklowe and Linda Burg reigned as one of the most powerful high society couples on the well-to-do circuit. 

    Now? Let's just say not so much...

    In 2016, after discovering that her husband has been secretly housing his French mistress in a Manhattan apartment for two years, Linda decided to call it quits following 50 years of marriage. And, as most any extremely wealthy woman would, she dug her heels in for a more than contentious divorce.

    Considering back in 2007 they purchased the entire 7th floor of the Plaza Hotel for $52 million and then completely renovated it, the two were never going to have an easy time splitting up their marital assets. And so as one would expect, the former couple fought over their Plaza pad, their Georgica Pond home and their apartment at the uber luxurious 432 Park Avenue.

    Side note: In 2019 Harry married his French side piece, Patricia Landeau, and put up a 42-foot tall billboard of himself and his new wife on the side of 432 Park Avenue to taunt his wife during their divorce proceedings. So yeah, that's the level of dick we're dealing with here. 

    Side note on a side note: Good for you Tory Burch for getting the hell out of this family back in the 90s after barely one year of marriage. Even if your first husband, Harry and Linda's son William Macklowe, may have been cool, this family's drama was so not worth the money. And like, I think it's safe to say you did pretty well for yourself!

    But divvying up properties wasn't all. Because when you get to be their level of rich, your real estate portfolio is basically nothing compared to your art collection.

    After years of endless back and forth negotiations trying to settle the value of the former couple's impressive art, the judge basically gave up and decided that nobody deserved to have the 65-piece collection. Which like, who even knew that was a thing they could do?

    Last night, the first half of the lot went up for auction at Sotheby's - 35 modern and contemporary works by everyone from Andy Warhol and Mark Rothko to Picasso and Giacometti. The final tally at the end of the evening? $676 million! A one-night record for the auction house. 

    The second half of the collection is to be sold this spring and is bound to break more records.

    So I suppose in some weird way, this fairytale has a semi-happy ending - the rich get richer! 

    [Photos via Sotheby's, @paupurcellnyc]