NYP Library’s Art Auction Fails to Meet Expectations

Only one of two of the The New York Public Library’s Gilbert Stuart portraits of George Washington resulted in a sale yesterday at Sotheby’s. One painting was bought for only $8 million (at least $15 million was hoped for) by an anonymous patron, believed to be the Wal-Mart heiress, Alice L. Walton. The other painting remains unsold.

Ms. Walton has made several previous purchases at auction, including the painting “Kindred Spirits”, the work of Hudson River School painter Asher B. Durand. She outbid both the National Gallery and the Metropolitan Museum for that painting, paying $35 million. Ms. Walton intends to open a museum in her hometown of Benton, Arkansas. More from the New York Times .