Art: Crushing Verdict

One of the longest, costliest, most bitterly fought lawsuits in art history came to an end last week. It had been almost six years since Mark Rothko, whose large canvases filled with luminous rectangles of color had established him as a leader of American abstract expressionism, slit his wrists in his Manhattan studio, leaving his estate to a charitable trust for needy older artists. Under New York State law, Rothko's two children (Kate, now 24, and Christopher, 12) claimed 50% of it. Since 1970, the children and their lawyers alleged, there had been...

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