It’s a strange way to promote auction highlights but Bloomberg’s Katya Kazakina has a story about the sale of 16 works of art from the Homeland Foundation which was established by the Stillman family to support the house and gardens of Wethersfied, the family’s country estate. The estate was the pride of banking heir James Stillman:
He spent more than two decades creating gardens evoking those in 17th century Italy. A room with a vaulted ceiling and frescoes once displayed his most prized artwork, “Portrait of a Halberdier,” a painting by Pontormo that sold at auction to the Getty Museum for $35 million shortly after his death in 1989.
But by the early 2000s, the Wethersfield fortune began to fade. The foundation’s expenses and grant outlays exceeded revenues for 14 straight years, filings show. Trustees diverted millions of dollars to personal causes, including alma maters and children’s schools, according to admissions they made in connection with Attorney General Eric Schneiderman’s probe.