Philanthropist and cosmetics giant Leonard Lauder is donating his collection of early-20th-century art, valued at $1.1 billion, to the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York.
The focused Cubist collection includes 33 Picassos, 17 Braques, 14 Légers and 14 works by Gris, as reported by the New York Times.
This isn’t the first transformative gift Lauder has made to a museum. As the former chairman of the Whitney Museum of American Art, he donated millions in art and money. But his gift to the Met puts him in a very small group of the most generous philanthropists of all time.
According to Forbes magazine, Lauder becomes the 24th person in the world to donate more than $1 billion over the course of their lifetimes. “He now stands shoulder to shoulder on that list with the likes of Bill Gates, Warren Buffett, Eli Broad, George Kaiser, Michael Bloomberg, George Lucas and others.
Lauder, 80, the son of Estee Lauder and one of New York’s most influential art collectors, said the donation would help to reinforce the city’s standing as the world’s “art capital”.
His gift comes without restrictions, and The Met is already receiving the art. Museum officials say an exhibition scheduled to open in the fall of 2014.
“The Violin [Mozart/Kubelick]” by Georges Braque, early spring 1912