Kate Taylor was a star at the New York Sun. She reappears quickly after that paper’s demise in the New York Times. Let’s hope they make the most of their good fortune. Here Taylor details the internecine battle among John and Marcia Friede’s heirs over their collection of tribal art ear-marked for San Francisco’s de Young Museum:
A feud between Mr. Friede, 70, and his two brothers over their mother’s estate has led to litigation in three states, with the two brothers, the museum and Sotheby’s auction house all laying claim to the art.
[ . . . ] “My enormous preference would be to do what is traditionally done by big collectors who are not just boiling over with cash, where there is a small purchase and a large gift,” he said, referring to the common museum practice of paying for only part of a donation’s value, which allows the donor to claim a tax deduction and also reap direct proceeds. “Another possibility would be having to sell off a section” of the collection, he said. “That would be a darned shame.”
The feud among the brothers would appear to have deep roots. Their mother, Evelyn A. J. Hall, who died in 2005, was a collector and philanthropist and a sister of the publishing magnate Walter Annenberg. By all evidence John Friede was her favorite son. She supported his collecting and business ventures with large sums and made gifts of art and endowed curatorships in their names at institutions including the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Brooklyn Museum and the Smithsonian Institution’s National Museum of African Art.
“Mother and I were kindred souls,” Mr. Friede said. Their closeness, Mr. Friede said, stirred deep resentment in his brothers, particularly his half-brother, Mr. Jaffe, whom he described as suffering from “pathological sibling rivalry.”
A Collection of Tribal Art Is Embroiled in a Modern Family Feud (The New York Times)