Cubist collection pledged to Met valued at over $1B
NEW YORK — The Metropolitan Museum of Art is going cubist in a big way — a billion-dollar way — thanks to cosmetics titan Leonard Lauder.
Lauder, an 80-year-old heir to the Estee Lauder cosmetics fortune, pledged a 78-piece art collection, including 33 Picassos, to the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the museum announced.
“The Met's collection of modernism, together with those of MoMA, the Guggenheim, and the Whitney, reinforce the city's standing as the center for 20th-century art and fuel New York's ongoing role as the art capital of the world,” he said in a statement.
Lauder's Cubist collection, which includes 17 works by Georges Braque, 14 by Juan Gris and 14 by Fernand Leger, is one of the largest gifts in the museum's history. It is valued at $1 billion, according to the New York Times, which did not say how it arrived at the figure. The museum's statement didn't disclose the value of the gift.
“I think it's worth more than that,” said John Richardson, Picasso's leading biographer, who curated four major exhibitions about the artist at Gagosian Gallery in New York and London. “I know the market.”
Richardson was a partner of collector Douglas Cooper, who began buying Cubism around 1932, amassing one of the most significant troves by Picasso, Braque, Gris and Leger. Lauder's gift to the Met includes 5 paintings and 11 drawings acquired from the Cooper collection in 1986.
“He bought the heart of the Cooper collection, and Douglas had the cream of the crop,” Richardson said.
“Leonard's gift is truly transformational for the Metropolitan Museum,” Thomas P. Campbell, the museum's director and chief executive officer, said in a statement.
The museum will establish the Leonard A. Lauder Research Center for Modern Art, supported by a $22 million endowment funded by grants from its trustees and supporters, including Lauder. It will promote scholarship on Cubism and modern art.
Lauder, former CEO and chairman of Estee Lauder, has an estimated net worth of $8.4 billion, according to the Bloomberg Billionaires Index.
Picasso's “The Scallop Shell” (1912) and “Woman in an Armchair” (1913) and Braque's “Trees at L'Estaque” (1908) and “The Violin” (1912) are among the highlights of the collection, which will be presented at the museum for the first time in an exhibition scheduled to open in the fall of 2014.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- GAO seeks more drinking water safeguards
- Ebola only a plane ride away from U.S.
- Medicare finances improve as health care inflation slows, trustees say
- U.S. coal exports undermine energy efforts, experts say
- Powerful tornado surprises area near Boston
- Law enforcement, intelligence agencies want to ‘like’ you on social media
- Deal to improve veterans’ health care costs $17B
- $17B remedy for VA pitched
- Obama mulls large-scale move on immigration
- Defense workers with security clearance owed millions in back taxes, GAO finds
- House bill lets airlines advertise pre-tax fares