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Top 200 Collectors

Black-and-white portrait of a middle-aged white
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Elaine Wynn

Las Vegas

Hotels and casinos

Contemporary art; Modern art


Elaine Wynn married fellow ARTnews Top 200 collector and real estate billionaire Stephen A. Wynn in 1963, but the two have since divorced twice, most recently in 2010. She co-founded Wynn Resorts and Mirage Resorts with her former husband, the latter of which she led from 1976 to 2000. That year, Elaine reportedly received more than $740 million in Wynn stock in the settlement.

Until that point, Elaine Wynn wasn’t as prominent a presence in the art world as her ex-husband was—at least not until 2014. That was the year she paid $142.4 million for Francis Bacon’s 1969 triptych Three Studies of Lucian Freud, setting a new record for what was then the highest price ever paid for a work at auction. The Bacon joined other pieces in her collection—including works by Édouard Manet, Joan Mitchell, and Lucian Freud, to name a few—most of which represent her share of the Wynn collection that was divided when the couple divorced.

Wynn is currently co-chair of the Los Angeles County Museum of Art’s board of trustees and has been instrumental in supporting the museum’s forthcoming Peter Zumthor–designed building, pledging a $50 million lead gift to realize the building in 2016.

Wynn currently serves on the board of trustees of the Elaine P. Wynn & Family Foundation and has also chaired the UNLV Foundation, the charity that supports the University of Nevada, Las Vegas, for eight years. And education has been one of her other key philanthropic endeavors, as she is currently president of Nevada’s State Board of Education, a position she has been elected to twice.

She was also the recipient of the only female-size 2012 Olympic Men’s Basketball Team USA championship ring ever made. The ring, she once told Haute Living, is “one of the things that I’m most proud of.”