A home for art, music, history, and culture.

The beginning.

In 1902, the Graham family built a lavish Italianate villa on the property and named their estate Bellosguardo, or "beautiful lookout."

Copper king, William Andrews Clark, bought the estate from the Grahams in 1923. Beginning with nothing, Clark was a true self-made man, for a time laying claim to the largest mining concern in the world.

Anna, determined to escape the grinding poverty that defined her own youth, managed a meeting with Clark, which led—eventually—to their marriage. They had two daughters, Andrée (who died young) and Huguette.

Clark died at 86, two years after buying Bellosguardo. As his sprawling empire faded, Anna and Huguette retreated to Santa Barbara. During this time, Anna and Huguette donated the funds that created the Andrée Clark Bird Refuge, which neighbors the estate.

With the Depression in full swing, Anna found work for many by improving the estate, and finally decided to tear down the Graham house to build something entirely her own.

Reginald Johnson designed Anna's new manse. While opulent in its own right, the design veered from the wild excesses of her husband's taste, gravitating toward a staid elegance.

Though Anna and Huguette did entertain, through time, they began to withdraw from society and truly lived only for each other. Anna's death in 1963 further isolated Huguette, to the point where her world was delineated by the four walls of a hospital room in Manhattan. At her death, Huguette had not visited Bellosguardo in over half a century.

The present.

Today, Bellosguardo stands as Huguette left it so many years ago, a monument, perfectly maintained and protected, to the mother she loved. It has endured the tests of time, the house and grounds locked in pristine isolation.

The vision.

Now, Huguette has bequeathed the property to the Bellosguardo Foundation, which is committed to both honoring the Clarks' past, and building a future where the estate can be enjoyed by all as a focal point for the arts. Realizing that future will take time and commitment, but the fruits of that labor will be well worth the effort.

The destination.

Be it coming up to enjoy a family picnic by the rose garden, delve into the estate's history, view art from institutions around the world, or take in a jazz recital on the lawn, Bellosguardo will become a new home for art, music, history, and culture on the California coast.

Bill Dedman

In March 2022, Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist and co-author of the best-selling biography of Empty Mansions: The Mysterious Life of Huguette Clark and the Spending of a Great American Fortune, Bill Dedman, spoke before a sold-out audience at the Santa Barbara Historical Museum about the fascinating life of the Clark Family and Bellosguardo.

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