American Folk Art Museum to Return Most of Esmerian Gift

  • January 02, 2013 12:48

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Cover of American Radiance: The Ralph Esmerian Gift to the American Folk Art Museum by Stacy C. Hollander.

Last month, a motion was filed in U.S. Bankruptcy Court for New York's American Folk Art Museum to relinquish 210 objects promised by former benefactor Ralph Esmerian, reports The Wall Street Journal.

Esmerian, the bankrupt jeweler who was sentenced to six years in prison last year for wire fraud and other charges, had promised 263 gifts to the museum. The objects, encompassing top-notch examples of historic American folk art and decorative arts, are now needed to settle bankruptcy claims.

The museum, which has struggled financially and sold its flagship building, negotiated to retain 53 of the promised objects which have yet to be publically identified.


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