From our Scratch Your Head desk
This correction ran in Wednesday’s Boston Globe:
So the hardclicking staff went back to the original Globe piece and found this:
Also being featured in Christie’s Jan. 24 sale is “Favorites From the Collection of Kristina Barbara Johnson,’’ 78 lots of folk art. Listed as one of America’s top 100 collectors of art and antiques from 1986-96 and a former trustee of the American Folk Art Museum in New York, Johnson died in April at 76 in her native Poland after a lengthy illness.
In 1968, Basia Piasecka emigrated from Poland to the United States, reportedly with only $200, but when she died, her net worth was $3.6 billion, according to Forbes.
Her life, described alternately as a rags-to-riches story and a fractured fairy tale, changed when shortly after her arrival in this country she took a job as a chambermaid in the New Jersey home of J. Seward Johnson Sr., an heir to the Johnson & Johnson Band-Aid and baby powder fortune.
A year later Basia, who had studied art history in Poland, quit her job, moved into a Manhattan apartment provided by Johnson, and started taking art classes at New York University. Two years later Johnson, 76, and the father of six grown children, married 34-year-old Basia. Upon his death at 87 in 1983, Barbara Johnson (her name now) inherited the bulk of his fortune, estimated at around $500 million, which after a three-year legal battle with his children that ended in a settlement, was reduced to about $340 million.
No worry – Johnson eventually “became a billionaire and world famous as an art and antiques collector.”
Except maybe not, according to the Globe correction.
Which leaves the headscratching staff saying Hey, Globeniks: Any chance you’ll give us the real “life story of Kristina Barbara Johnson”?
Or should we make up our own?