Mystery Lingers Over Fate of Huguette Clark's Bellosguardo

Aerial view of Huguette Clark's Bellosguardo estate
Aerial view of Huguette Clark's Bellosguardo estate
(photo: John Wiley)

Huguette Clark, the copper heiress who died at age 104 in 2011, left a will that envisioned her California mansion be turned into an arts nonprofit. Years later, the fate of the reclusive multimillionaire's 23-acre estate in Santa Barbara is still not clear. Her oceanside Bellosguardo estate reportedly was transferred from her home state of New York to a Santa Barbara nonprofit late last year, but there the complicated story stalls.

An Independent article in Dec. says that a judge's recent ruling indicates the IRS likely waived $16 million to $18 million in gift tax penalties owed by Clark at the time of her death. The tax issue was just one of many hurdles holding up Clark's $400 million estate.

The ruling sets "$45 million of Bellosguardo assets, which include the mansion itself, a large collection of paintings and sculptures, a $1.7 million doll collection, and $4.5 million in cash," reports the Indy, be transferred to the foundation.

A nonprofit board had already been set up by former Santa Barbara mayor Helene Schneider, “to open the Bellosguardo house and gardens to the public as a center that will foster and promote the arts.”

The 27-room mansion has been empty since the 1950s, and while it's been cared for, the property has an estimated $12 million in deferred maintenance, with some describing the place as a "money pit" and others lamenting logistics like the location's lack of parking for an arts center. 

Questions remain over whether Santa Barbara is now in a position to bring Bellosguardo back to life as a new arts venue overlooking the Pacific. 

More News Feed Headlines

Temple of Dendur in The Sackler Wing of the Metropolitan Museum of Art, NY.

Known as Museum Donors, Sackler Family Now Under More Scrutiny in OxyContin Lawsuits

  • January 21, 2019 00:06

Long-celebrated as arts and culture philanthropists, the Sackler family is increasingly in ...

Read More

Gordon Parks, "Trapped in abandoned building by a rival gang on street, Red Jackson ponders his next move," 1948, gelatin silver print, part of the exhibition "Gordon Parks: The New Tide, Early Work 1940–1950" at the National Gallery of Art through Feb.  18, 2019.

Virtually Browse (and Support) the 20 Museums Closed by the Government Shutdown

  • January 15, 2019 22:41

With the 19 federally-funded Smithsonian museums and the National Gallery of Art in DC closed due ...

Read More

Still from video by Klaus Obermeyer/Rocket.film, 'Letting the light in, James Turrell, ASU partner on artwork'

James Turrell's 'Roden Crater' Project Gets $10 Million Donation from Kanye West

  • January 14, 2019 14:50

James Turrell, 75, began his Roden Crater Project in 1977. The California artist has gotten a ...

Read More

Dr Bendor Grosvenor in an episode of Britain's Lost Masterpieces (with Emma Dabiri).  (The painting shown is not the one destroyed by cat.)

Art Expert Says Cat Destroyed His Rare 17th-Century Painting

  • January 10, 2019 14:03

A cat wrecked a rare 17th-century portrait painting, according to the pet's owner, UK-based art ...

Read More

Related Press Releases

Related Events from ArtfixDaily Calendar

 

ArtfixDaily Artwire