Cosmetics tycoon and art collector Leonard Lauder has donated his collection of 78 Cubist works to New York’s Metropolitan Museum of Art. The art is valued at $1 billion. The stunning collection consists of 33 works by Picasso, 17 by Braque, 14 by Gris and 14 by Leger. Lauder amassed the collection over four decades. It is considered one of the foremost collections of Cubism in the world.
Cubism was the most influential art movement of the 20th century, paving the way for the pure abstraction that dominated Western art for the next 50 years.
The 80-year old Lauder is heir to the Estée Lauder cosmetics fortune. In a statement, he explained why he picked the Met: “The Met’s collection of modernism, together with those of MoMA, the Guggenheim, and the Whitney, reinforce the city’s standing as the centre for 20th-century art and fuel New York’s ongoing role as the art capital of the world.”
In addition to the donation, the museum will establish a new research center for modern art, supported by a $22 million endowment funded by grants from museum trustees and supporters, including Lauder.
The collection will be presented for the first time in the autumn of 2014.
Alex has written for Vanity Fair, Barrons, Bloomberg and Condé Nast Traveler.