Billionaire Gives Billion-Dollar Art Gift

by Nate Wooley | April 11, 2013 11:23 am

leonard lauder[1]Cosmetics titan Leonard Lauder has made one of the largest art bequests ever.

Lauder — the Chairman Emeritus of Estee-Lauder (NYSE:EL[2]) — has granted 76 pieces of his collection of cubist art to the Metropolitan Museum of Art, The New York Times reports[3].

The collection — which Lauder has assembled over decades — features masterworks by many of the top artists of the cubist school. The donated collection includes 33 works by Picasso, 17 by Braque, 14 by Leger and 14 pieces from Gris. The value of the donation is estimated to exceed $1 billion.

The Met’s board of directors approved accepting the gift — which is one of the largest ever to an art museum — Tuesday afternoon.

“In one fell swoop this puts the Met at the forefront of early-20th-century art.” said the director of the museum, Thomas Campbell. “It is an unreproducible collection, something museum directors only dream about.” The museum is already planning a 2014 exhibition for the artworks.

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