Billion Dollar Collection Gifted to Met

An A-list collection of Cubist paintings by Picasso, Braque and Leger has been gifted to the Metropolitan Museum of art in New York by the prominent collector Leonard A. Lauder. The donated artworks are valued at $1 billion.

Art collectors of ArtKabinett social media network can't wait to visit this collection, when it is unveiled to the public.

The cosmetic's heir, pictured here, has pledged to give the Museum his collection of 78 works which stands as one of the most important collections of Cubism in the world.

The director of the Met Mr. Campbell concurrently announced that, in coordination with the gift, the Metropolitan Museum is establishing a new research center for modern art at the Metropolitan, supported by a $22-million endowment funded by grants from Museum trustees and supporters, including Mr. Lauder.

The Leonard A. Lauder Collection, distinguished by its quality, focus, and depth, includes 33 works by Picasso, 17 by Braque, 14 by Gris, and 14 by Léger.

It is unsurpassed in the number of masterpieces and iconic works critical to the development of Cubism.

Among the highlights of the collection are: Picasso’s The Scallop Shell (“Notre avenir est dans l’air”) (1912), Woman in an Armchair (Eva) (1913), and Still Life with Cards, Glasses, and Bottle of Rum: “Vive la France” (1914; partially reworked 1915); Braque’s Trees at L’Estaque (1908) and The Violin (Mozart/Kubelick) (1912); Léger’s Houses under the Trees (1913) and Composition (The Typographer) (1917-18); and Gris’s Portrait of the Artist’s Mother (1912) and Figure Seated in a Café (Man at a Table) (1914).

More than half of the Lauder Collection focuses on the six-year period, 1909-14, during which Braque and Picasso—the two founders of the Cubist movement—closely collaborated.

The Leonard A. Lauder Research Center for Modern Art will be the first such center dedicated exclusively to modern art within an encyclopedic museum.

It will serve as a leading center for scholarship on Cubism and modern art, distinguished by its intellectual rigor and range, and its resources available for study. The Center will bring together renowned scholars, fellows, and curators for focused inquiry within the rich global context of the Metropolitan’s collection.

“Leonard's gift is truly transformational for the Metropolitan Museum,” stated Mr. Campbell in making the announcement. “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.

'Now, Cubism will be represented with some of its greatest masterpieces, demonstrating both its role as the groundbreaking movement of the 20th century and the foundation for an artistic dialogue that continues today. This is an extraordinary gift to our Museum and our City."

Mr. Lauder commented: “This is a gift to the people who live and work in New York and those from around the world who come to visit our great arts institutions. The arts are a cornerstone of the cultural, educational, and economic vitality of the City. I selected the Met as the way to share this collection because I feel that it’s essential that Cubism—and the art that follows it, for that matter—be seen and studied within the collections of one of the greatest encyclopedic museums in the world. 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.”

The Lauder Collection will be presented for the first time at the Metropolitan Museum in an exhibition scheduled to open in fall 2014.