Monday, April 24 , 2017, 3:29 pm | Fair and Windy 73º

 
 
 
 

Local News

Heiress Huguette Clark’s Santa Barbara Estate to Become Museum

Her will appoints a nonprofit foundation to oversee the 24-acre Bellosguardo, which will house her collection of art, rare books and other objects

Heiress Huguette Clark’s 24-acre estate — Bellosguardo — between East Beach and the Santa Barbara Cemetery will become a museum run by a foundation of the same name, according to her last will and testament.

Clark, who died last month just before her 105th birthday, was a private woman with no children or close family, so there has been much speculation about who would get her $400 million fortune.

She hadn’t visited Santa Barbara for decades, but the estate has been kept up as if she would arrive at any moment.

According to Holland & Knight, the law firm that filed her will in New York on Wednesday, the estate will become a permanent museum to house her collection of art, rare books, musical instruments and other exhibition-quality objects.

“The property includes a grand garden and a 21,000-square-foot mansion completed in 1933 — the original residence was torn down during the height of the Depression, in part to provide work for Santa Barbara’s unemployed laborers,” Holland & Knight said in a statement released Wednesday. “The multiwinged residence, designed by legendary Biltmore Hotel architect Reginald Johnson, has been unoccupied for more than a half-century, but Mrs. Clark insisted that the manicured grounds and interior be meticulously maintained throughout her life. The Santa Barbara estate is now estimated to be worth $100 million.”

The Bellosguardo Foundation will foster and promote the arts, a passion of Clark’s, and her art-filled New York City apartments also will be given to the foundation. One piece, a Claude Monet painting from his “Water Lilies” series, will be given to the Corcoran Gallery of Art in Washington, D.C., where her father — senator and copper tycoon William Andrews Clark — donated his collection.

“In keeping with both her attachment to her Santa Barbara residence and her own background as an artist of considerable skill, it is fitting that approximately three-quarters of Mrs. Clark’s estate was designated for charitable purposes, including the establishment of a nonprofit arts foundation housed in her beloved Bellosguardo,” according to Holland & Knightt.

Noozhawk staff writer Giana Magnoli can be reached at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address). Follow Noozhawk on Twitter: @noozhawk or @NoozhawkNews. Become a fan of Noozhawk on Facebook.

  • Ask
  • Vote
  • Investigate
  • Answer

Noozhawk Asks: What’s Your Question?

Welcome to Noozhawk Asks, a new feature in which you ask the questions, you help decide what Noozhawk investigates, and you work with us to find the answers.

Here’s how it works: You share your questions with us in the nearby box. In some cases, we may work with you to find the answers. In others, we may ask you to vote on your top choices to help us narrow the scope. And we’ll be regularly asking you for your feedback on a specific issue or topic.

We also expect to work together with the reader who asked the winning questions to find the answer together. Noozhawk’s objective is to come at questions from a place of curiosity and openness, and we believe a transparent collaboration is the key to achieve it.

The results of our investigation will be published here in this Noozhawk Asks section. Once or twice a month, we plan to do a review of what was asked and answered.

Thanks for asking!

Click here to get started >

Support Noozhawk Today

You are an important ally in our mission to deliver clear, objective, high-quality professional news reporting for Santa Barbara, Goleta and the rest of Santa Barbara County. Join the Hawks Club today to help keep Noozhawk soaring.

We offer four membership levels: $5 a month, $10 a month, $25 a month or $1 a week. Payments can be made through PayPal below, or click here for information on recurring credit-card payments.

Thank you for your vital support.



Daily Noozhawk

Subscribe to Noozhawk's A.M. Report, our free e-Bulletin sent out every day at 4:15 a.m. with Noozhawk's top stories, hand-picked by the editors.

Sign Up Now >