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If mo’ money does indeed mean mo’ problems, the Corcoran Gallery of Art is in luck: A painting of water lilies by Claude Monet owned by the gallery sold for $24 million at a Christie’s auction last night, but the Corcoran won’t see a penny of it.
The final bid came as a bit of a letdown—-the painting was said to have been worth between $25 million and $35 million on the low end, and because of a complicated settlement with the estate of benefactor Huguette Clark, the Corcoran (or whatever institution would have ended up with the money after the Corcoran’s dissolution) would have only gotten half of any amount in excess of $25 million. Not that it really matters to the Corcoran itself, with its which if a deal is struck will soon be essentially dissolved, but for the institutions that will most likely split the gallery’s assets someday soon (that’d be George Washington University and the National Gallery of Art), “Nymphéas” sunk big.
Image courtesy Christie’s