Clark, who lived for the past two decades in a Manhattan hospital room with her antique doll collection under an assumed name, died May 24 at age 104. She was the daughter of William Clark, a copper tycoon who built his fortune in the 19th century and even bought himself a seat in the U.S. Senate.
Clark executed her will in 2005, leaving her immense doll collection to Hadassah Peri, whom Clark called in her will “my loyal nurse, friend and companion,” according to the Wall Street Journal. The 60-year-old nurse, born in the Philippines, has been Clark’s on-call nurse 24 hours a day since 1991. Peri oreviously received $500,000 from Clark for a vacation home on the Jersey Shore, and $2 million in 2000 and 2001 to buy homes for her family.
Wanda Styka, Clark’s god-daughter, will inherit $14 million. Styka is believed to be the daughter of the late Polish painter Tade Styka.
Clark donated her extensive collection of art, which hung on the walls of her apartment, almost exclusively to a new Bellosguardo Foundation named after her and housed in her 21,000-square-foot California estate. The foundation will be dedicated to “fostering and promoting the arts,” according to Clark. The collection includes Pierre-Auguste Renoir, John Singer Sargent, William Merritt Chase and dozens of paintings by Clark. Rare books including “Paradise Lost,” and a Stradivarius violin will also go to Bellosguardo.
The only piece of art excluded from Bellosguardo is a 1907 canvas by Claude Monet from his famous “Water Lilies” series, which she gives to the Corcoran Gallery of Art in Washington, D.C. The piece hasn't been seen by the public since 1925
Clark's 42-room apartment on Fifth Avenue and her country estate in Connecticut will be sold off to pay estate taxes of $44 million.
Clark’s attorney and accountant will each get $500,000, named executors of her estate, and be placed on the board of the Bellusguardo Foundation, which may earn them significant amounts of money. Her accountant Irving Kamsler is a registered sex offender, and both he and her attorney Wallace Bock were investigated by the Manhattan District Attorney's office for possibly mismanaging her affairs.
Ms. Clark had no children and donated nothing to surviving family members.
“I intentionally make no provision in this my last will testament for any members of my family," she specified, "having had minimal contacts with them over the years. The persons and institutions named herein as beneficiaries of my estate are the true objects of my bounty.”
Read Huguette Clark’s full will here.