Heard on the Web: Fate of Famed Art Collection Unresolved

Heard on the Web: Fate of Famed Art Collection Unresolved

News story posted in State Courts on 26 August 2010| comments
audience: Trusts and Estates, National Publication | last updated: 18 May 2011


Writing for Trusts & Estates magazine, attorney David Thayne Leibell reports and discusses the issues associated with a Tennessee Chancery Court's decision to temporarily block the sale by a financially strapped college of a 50 percent interest in an art collection to a Walmart heiress

The fate of both Fisk University and one of the nation’s great modern art collections, the Alfred Steiglitz Collection (the Collection), remain in doubt after a Tennessee Chancery Court recently rejected the current terms of a $30 million deal whereby Crystal Bridges Museum, in Bentonville, Arkansas (founded and supported by Walmart heiress Alice Walton), would purchase an undivided 50 percent joint interest in the Collection allowing it to display the Collection for half of the year in Arkansas. The court gave the Tennessee Attorney General (AG), as protector of charitable gifts, until Sept. 20, 2010 to propose a local solution for the Collection’s display and maintenance. Following that, Fisk University will have until Oct. 8, 2010 to file any responses to the AG’s proposal and to file amendments to the Crystal Bridges Museum deal addressing the court’s concerns. The court will then order a solution for the display and maintenance of the Collection, the result of which will likely end up being appealed.

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