Main | Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Make-Up Mogul Leonard Lauder Makes Billion Dollar Gift To NYC's Met Museum

Leonard Lauder, the chairman emeritus of Estee Lauder, has agreed to donate his billion dollar collection of cubist paintings to New York City's Metropolitan Museum.
The trove of signature works, which includes 33 Picassos, 17 Braques, 14 Légers and 14 works by Gris, is valued at more than $1 billion. It puts Mr. Lauder, who for years has been one of the city’s most influential art patrons, in a class with cornerstone contributors to the museum like Michael C. Rockefeller, Walter Annenberg, Henry Osborne Havemeyer and Robert Lehman. The gift was approved by the Met’s board at a meeting Tuesday afternoon. Scholars say the collection is among the world’s greatest, as good as, if not better than, the renowned Cubist paintings, drawings and sculptures in institutions like the Museum of Modern Art in New York, the State Hermitage Museum in St. Petersburg and the Pompidou Center in Paris.
The New York Times notes that Lauder's gift fills a "glaring gap in the Met’s collection, which has been notably weak in early-20th-century art." The donation carried no restrictions and the Met is expected to put the collection on display next year.

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