SAN FRANCISCO (CN) – The Fine Arts Museum of San Francisco says a trustee and his wife, who are also major donors, gave the museum 400 pieces of New Guinea tribal art and promised to give it all 4,000 pieces of the “Jolika Collection,” then made a deal with the husband’s brothers that allows them to sell off the entire collection.
The museum sued its trustee John Friede and his wife Marcia, the donors, Friede’s brothers Robert Friede and Thomas Jaffee, and Sotheby’s Financial Services, in Superior Court.
A Palm Beach County court ruled for Robert Friede and Thomas Jaffee and against John and Marcia Friede in a probate dispute, this claim states. Robert and Thomas now claim ownership of the entire Jolika Collection, including the pieces already on display at the Museum, also known as the M.H. de Young Memorial Museum.
The Museum says Robert and Thomas plan to break up the collection and sell it to satisfy debts owed to them by John and Marcia. The Museum says the collection took 40 years to assemble, that it owns it, and that it’s in the public interest to keep the collection together. It seeks an injunction and quiet title to the collection. It is represented by the City Attorney.