“Money,” Stephen A. Wynn has said, “is a way of expressing no compromise,” and that statement is just as true for Wynn’s art collection as it is for his multi-billion-dollar Las Vegas casinos. In 2005, his collection of 19th- and 20th-century masterpieces was valued at somewhere between $300 million and $400 million, and included Jan Vermeer’s Young Woman Seated at a Virginal (ca. 1670). At the time, it was one of only two Vermeer paintings in private hands. He has since sold the Vermeer, as well as other top works—in 2005, hedge-fund billionaire Steven A. Cohen reportedly paid Wynn about $120 million for Vincent van Gogh’s Peasant Woman Against a Background of Wheat (1890) and Paul Gauguin’s Bathers (1902)—but his art collection, now thought to be worth $1 billion, still reflects the same commitment to excellence that Wynn aspires to with his hotels. As one of his hotel brochures reads, “It took Michelangelo four years to complete the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel. Your room took five.”
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