Is a $1 Million Kandinsky Painting Hanging in a New York Dorm Room?

A bowl that belonged to Captain Cook is also involved in the dispute.

Wassily Kandinsky, The Black Line. Courtesy of Ingrid Wright.

The legal battle over the estate of Faith Dorian-Wright, an enthusiastic collector of Pacific and Oceanic art and former board member of the American Friends of the Israel Museum who died September 18, 2016, has taken a strange turn.

Her surviving daughter, Ingrid Wright, is demanding that Mackenzie Wright, Faith’s granddaughter and Ingrid’s niece, return The Black Line, a $1 million Wassily Kandinsky painting.

In a claim filed in early January in Manhattan’s Surrogate Court, Ingrid has accused Mackenzie of taking the valuable work from Faith’s apartment and hanging it in her room at New York’s Fashion Institute of Technology.

“It is a real possibility that she has squirreled away the Kandinsky in her dorm room,” wrote Ingrid’s lawyer, Allan Kirstein, in the court filing, according to DNAinfo. Ingrid is calling for the immediate return of the painting.

MacKenzie Wright and Faith Dorian-Wright. Courtesy J Grassi, © Patrick McMullan.

MacKenzie Wright and Faith Dorian-Wright. Courtesy J Grassi, © Patrick McMullan.

Mackenzie’s lawyer, Steven L. Keats, denied the accusation, telling DNAinfo that “[the painting is] not in a dorm room. I can assure you. It’s in a storage facility.” While Ingrid maintains, according to the filing, that she has owned the work since 2009, “when she received it from a trust created by her father,” Mackenzie claims her grandmother gave it to her as a gift.

This is the second suit that Ingrid has filed in connection to her mother’s estate. In September, she accused Mackenzie’s brother Austin Wright of taking a wooden bowl, acquired by 18th-century explorer Captain James Cook during his third and final voyage to Hawaii, from Faith’s apartment. The elder Wright had owned the bowl, reportedly worth $15 million–18 million, since 1967, DNAinfo reported.

Austin, who runs the Museum of Democracy for American campaign and political memorabilia, founded by his late father Jordan Wright, maintains the bowl was a gift from his grandmother shortly before her death.

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