Despite multiple losses in court, Peggy Guggenheim’s descendants continue their campaign against the foundation to which she left her art collection.
During her lifetime, Peggy Guggenheim became one of the world’s foremost collectors of modern art. She collected a total of 326 valuable paintings and sculptures. Upon her death in 1979, the collection was bequeathed to the Solomon R. Guggenheim Foundation so the artwork could be put on display and made available to the public six days a week.
This generous donation has been the source of a lengthy and acrimonious feud between Guggenheim’s descendants and the foundation.
The descendants have continuously claimed that the foundation violates the terms of the donation and have asked the courts to revoke the gift because of those violations. The foundation denies the charges.
The descendants have lost four times so far, most recently when they lost an appeal in 2015. However, they continue to persist in their claims and it appears this battle has no end in sight.
Vanity Fair recently detailed this long saga in “The Bitter Legal Battle over Peggy Guggenheim’s Blockbuster Art Collection.”
The descendants have always maintained that they are fighting to make sure Peggy Guggenheim’s wishes are followed. However, since the art collection is one of the most valuable in the world, the idea that they might also be interested in the money cannot be entirely dismissed. This notion may have legs, since their efforts have thus far failed to convince the courts that the foundation is not fulfilling the terms of the donation.
Battles over valuable assets are common in estate administration, and even more so when the valuable assets are not inherited by family members who might want them.
Reference: Vanity Fair (Jan. 5, 2017) “The Bitter Legal Battle over Peggy Guggenheim’s Blockbuster Art Collection.”
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