Kravis Resolves Claims Against Bryant Over Johns Works

Henry Kravis, co-chairman of KKR & Co., and art collector Donald L. Bryant Jr. agreed to resolve claims that Bryant reneged on an agreement to donate paintings by Jasper Johns to the Museum of Modern Art in New York.

Kravis sued Bryant in New York State Supreme Court in Manhattan in January, claiming he went back on an agreement to donate the paintings they jointly owned to MoMA after the two collectors took turns displaying the works in their homes.

Kravis, his wife Marie-Josee, MoMA and Bryant, in a court filing dated yesterday, asked a judge in Manhattan to approve a proposed consent order and final judgment resolving Kravis’s claims and counterclaims filed by Bryant.

“This effectively resolves the situation, so case closed,” Fraser Seitel, a spokesman for Bryant, said in a telephone interview.

The proposed order would amend an agreement among the three parties to allow the Kravises to possess the artworks until Feb. 16, 2014, when they would be given to Bryant. The two parties would then have alternating rights of possession every 12 months. The works are to be donated to MOMA after the death of the owners.

‘Promised Gift’

Bryant in a court filing last month said he “never impliedly or expressly repudiated the promised gift of his interest” in the art to MOMA and that he confirmed to Johns his intent to donate the works to the museum. Bryant said he was preparing to transfer possession of the works to Kravis in January when the lawsuit was filed, and that the art was delivered on Jan. 30.

Margaret Doyle, a spokeswoman for MoMA, which had sought to intervene in the suit as a plaintiff, declined to comment on the filing.

Gregory P. Joseph, an attorney representing Kravis, didn’t immediately return telephone messages seeking comment on the filing.

The case is Kravis v. Bryant, 150705/2012, New York State Supreme Court, New York County (Manhattan).

Before it's here, it's on the Bloomberg Terminal.