Brooke Astor Leaves $20 Million To The Met

Whoo hoo! The Metropolitan Museum* announced tonight that the Brooke Astor estate has been settled, and it will receive about $20 million. It will, the museum said in a press release, “be used to support the institution’s curatorial programs and art acquisitions, as Mrs. Astor wished.”

I’m sorry to say that I’ve been out, taking in the AIPAD Photography Show New York at the Park Avenue Armory, and have not had time to reflect on this deal.

But that’s the gist. One sticky point, concerning a painting her son Anthony Marshall sold illegitimately, was resolved this way:

As the settlement makes clear, $3 million of the funds assigned to the Metropolitan are given in recognition of the Museum’s claim for proceeds from the sale of a painting from Mrs. Astor’s personal collection—Childe Hassam’s Flags, Fifth Avenue (also known as Up the Avenue from 34th Street, May 1917). Although Mrs. Astor bequeathed this iconic work to the Metropolitan, it was wrongly sold in 2002.  The painting’s current whereabouts are unknown. The Museum continues to regret that it will be unable to display the work for its public as Mrs. Astor so long hoped.

Here’s a link to the Met’s statement on the settlement.

The New York Public Library and Central Park are among the other beneficiaries.

BTW, the AIPAD show looked good: I can’t say I learned of some stunning new photographer, but there was a lot of excellent work on display.

*I consult to a foundation that supports the Met

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