Court proceedings over the weekend of Sept. 20 in New York have paved a clearer path for an art museum in the Clark Estate perched on a Santa Barbara seaside bluff.
While still likely years away as court proceedings and possible transactions will hold up the $85 million foundation and the opening of a museum in Bellosguardo, the magnificent estate owned by the late heiress Huguette Clark, a closed-door settlement was reached among multiple parties with an estate administrator. Other parties may appeal the decision.
The settlement includes $10 million in cash, a share in a Monet worth $25 million, and a seat on the board of the Bellosguardo foundation for the Corcoran Gallery in Washington, DC.
Santa Barbara mayor Helene Schneider will be allowed to appoint seven seats to the board.
Paintings owned by Clark will be sold to pay legal fees as her will was contested by various family members, the Corcoran, and other institutions.
The daughter of copper magnate William Clark, Huguette Clark died at age 104 in 2011. She left two differing wills and about $345 million in assets that have mobilized an army of lawyers. The IRS is investigating whether the estate owes $18 million in taxes in gifts.
While the battle for the estate is far from over, the framework for the Bellosguardo museum and educational center is underway.