Leonard Lauder makes $1B gift to the Metropolitan Museum

By Laurie Bennett

April 10, 2013 at 9:12am

Cosmetics heir Leonard A. Lauder has pledged his collection of Cubist paintings, drawings and sculptures, valued at more than $1 billion, to the Metropolitan Museum of Art.

The museum announced the gift on Tuesday, describing it as “transformational.”

The Typographer, by Fernand Leger
“The Typographer,” by Fernand Leger

“Although the Met is unique in its ability to exhibit over 5,000 years of art history, we have long lacked this critical dimension in the story of modernism,” said Museum CEO Thomas P. Campbell. “Now, Cubism will be represented with some of its greatest masterpieces.”

The collection of 78 works by Pablo Picasso, Georges Braque, Juan Gris, and Fernand L├ęger will be exhibited next year.

In a city known for its arts institutions, the Lauder family has long played a major role.

As the Muckety map above shows, Leonard Lauder, his brother Ronald and his niece Aerin all sit on committees at the Met.

Leonard Lauder is former chairman of the Whitney Museum. Through his foundation, he has also supported arts organizations outside New York, in Aspen and Palm Beach.

Ronald Lauder founded the Neue Galerie and is an honorary chair of the Museum of Modern Art.

As a member of the Met’s Costume Institute committee, Aerin Lauder is clearly being groomed to continue the family tradition. She is also an executive with the Estee Lauder Companies Inc., founded by her grandparents.

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