We recently reported on a family squabble that pitted father against daughter. It came to a head over a painting once owned by Dolores Ormandy Neumann (wife and mother) who was a leading figure in the 1980s supporting New York’s local graffiti artists. Dolores passed away in 2016 and her daughter Belinda was given the vast majority of Ms. Neumann’s property and was appointed the preliminary executor of her estate shortly before Ms. Neumann died in 2016, according to Mr. Neumann’s lawsuit. This included Basquiat’s Flesh and Spirit that Dolores purchased in the early 1980s for $15,000, and was the focus of a recent injunction brought by Dolores’s estranged husband, Hubert Neumann.
It appears that on her deathbed, Dolores fully disinherited her husband claiming spousal abuse, and the couple’s other daughters, Melissa and Kristina, were left with only modest shares, the suit states. They signed affidavits supporting their father’s lawsuit. This all sounds a little fishy.
Hubert attempted to halt the Basquiat sale at Sotheby’s, claiming in Surrogate Court, that he was entitled to a third of the estate and outraged with Sotheby’s low estimate of $30 million (just last year a work from the same period sold for $110.5 million). Shortly before the sale, the judge threw out the case and the Basquait brought $30.7 million.