When [Microsoft executive] Christopher Larson and Julia Calhoun got divorced this year in King County Superior Court, some things were easy to divide up.
He got the 1911 Rolls-Royce Silver Ghost, valued at $1.4 million. She got the 11 Volvos. He got the baseball memorabilia, picked up for $7.4 million. She got the 1,983 Victorian posey holders ($5.5 million)....
What proved a challenge to divide was the art — and that's because they both loved the art, if in different ways. The divorce file calls their collection, appraised at $102 million, an "illiquid, non-income producing asset." But art is more than that. We're talking works by Pierre-Auguste Renoir, John Singer Sargent, Albert Bierstadt and Claude Monet.
....Calhoun wrote seven pages, going through the pieces one by one. At times she described her emotional reaction to the art. The Monet, she said, was "incredibly soothing to look into."
....She critiqued, calling paintings "lovely" or "charming," or saying that a Charles Sprague Pearce piece "gains points with me for the portrayal of beauty that is not pale skinned and blond."
Larson's objectives were more businesslike.
He said he wanted his collection to be "well-balanced and diversified."
He said he needed artwork to secure a line of credit with JPMorgan Chase — and that the bank would count, as collateral, only those paintings worth $750,000 or more.
And he said: "I have lots of wall space to cover in the Norcliffe house, and so I do not want a collection consisting of very few expensive paintings."It's all in the square inches?