Ms. Clark died in May 2011 at the age of 104, having spent the last two decades of her life as a recluse in New York hospital. Teams of attorneys are battling over three wills she signed—one in 1929, the others in March and April 2005. The final will, unknown until her death, leaves a Monet painting valued at $25-million to the Corcoran.
Ms. Clark was a longtime benefactor of the Washington museum, which has struggled financially and, as the article recounts, regularly sought large endowment gifts from the heiress in her later years. The gallery has sided with Ms. Clark's family in opposing the third will, raising suspicions among other potential heirs that the two parties have made a separate deal, which the museum denies.