So much for the mystery! The New York Times says Elaine Wynn, the ex-wife of Las Vegas casino mogul Steve Wynn, is the owner of the Francis Bacon triptych now on view at Portland Art Museum. The paper quotes two off-the-record sources identifying Wynn. She did not comment for the story.
The identity of the anonymous donor has been a hot topic among art watchers for weeks. The three works sold in November for $149 million. That was the highest price ever paid at auction for a work of art. From the auction house, they came straight to PAM, likely saving their new owner millions in sales tax.
Daniel Peabody is director of Elizabeth Leach Gallery in Portland. He says it’s actually not that hard to figure out who’s buying what, once you reach a certain price point. ”Most people participating at this price point are usually more than happy to be acknowledged,” Peabody says. ”This was a little unusual. Sometimes people want privacy, sometimes not. It just depends.”
Peabody points out Wynn was known to admire Bacon’s work, and serves on a museum board in Los Angeles.