Leonard Lauder Gives $1 Billion Worth of Artwork to The Met

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The Met is expanding its collection of Cubist artwork thanks to cosmetics tycoon Leonard A. Lauder. The 80-year-old philanthropist has promised the New York institution his collection of 78 Cubist paintings, drawings and sculptures, reports The New York Times.

Lauder’s donation includes three Picassos, 17 Braques, 14 Légers and 14 works by Gris and is valued at more than $1 billion. “In one fell swoop this puts the Met at the forefront of early-20th-century art,” Thomas P. Campbell, the Met’s director, told the publication. “It is an unreproducible collection, something museum directors only dream about.”

Though various other museums were also interested in Lauder’s impressive collection, including the National Gallery of Art in Washington, the New York resident saw The Met as a perfect fit. “Whenever I’ve given something to a museum, I’ve wanted it to be transformative,” Lauder revealed. “This wasn’t a bidding war. I went knocking, and the door opened easily.”

An exhibition comprised of Lauder’s artwork scheduled to open in the fall of 2014.

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