Wilson Leaves Art To Whitney Museum

Jan 23 2014 | 11:21am ET

Robert Wilson, the hedge fund pioneer who died just before Christmas, left his art collection to New York's Whitney Museum of American Art.

Wilson, who retired from Wilson & Associates in 1986 and spent his remaining years giving away much of his fortune, had served on the museum's board of directors. The size of his collection was not specified in the will, which left all of it except for one painting—by the American artist James Rosenquist—to the Whitney; the total value of Wilson's personal property was estimated at between $15 million and $20 million.

Wilson leapt to his death from his 16th-floor Manhattan apartment on Dec. 23. The 87-year-old had suffered a stroke last summer.

By the time of his death, Wilson had already given away about $600 million of his $800 million fortune, most of it to liberal and environmental causes—although he was perhaps most famous for his $30 million in donations to New York Catholic schools, despite the fact that he was an openly gay atheist.

In addition to the Whitney, beneficiaries of Wilson's will include his friend James Brehm, who will get Wilson's wine collection, and his long-time assistant, Angela Riccardi, who will get $2 million. The rest of his estate, including his apartment, is to be sold and left to his executor, Richard Schneidman, who runs the trust Wilson set up in 2002.

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