Leonard A. Lauder, chairman emeritus of the Estee Lauder Cos. Inc., has pledged to donate his world renowned collection of cubist art — consisting of 78 works by Pablo Picasso, Georges Braque, Juan Gris, and Fernand Léger — to the New York’s Metropolitan Museum of Art, thus sealing his artistic legacy after a lifetime of collecting.
In concert with Lauder’s gift, the Met is establishing The Leonard A. Lauder Research Center for Modern Art that will be supported by a $22 million endowment funded by grants from museum trustees and supporters, including Lauder. The donated collection is considered one the foremost assemblages of cubist art in the world, in terms of quality, depth and focus. The collection includes 33 works by Picasso, 17 by Braque, 14 by Gris and 14 by Léger. During a telephone interview Tuesday evening following a meeting of the Met’s board, Lauder said he has always tried to have a transformative effect in his endeavors and this case is no different. “I wanted to transform the Met,” he said, noting that one of the reasons he picked the Met was that he wanted his collection housed within an encyclopedic museum. The Met’s vast holdings fill that bill, but its encyclopedic nature stops at 1900. After that it is comparatively thin. Lauder added that he hopes the impact of the gift and the establishment of a modern art research center will encourage other collectors to step forward. Lauder said he intends to continue acquiring and donating works to the museum.
Lauder said he has had conversations with other museums. Without naming names, he said, “I didn’t want it to be a beauty contest and I did not want to pit one against the other.” On that last point, he dismissed any possible speculation of a conflict with the Whitney, Museum of American Art, where he has served as trustee, president and chairman. He pointed out that the Whitney is devoted to American art and he began collecting French Cubism in 1976, long before he joined the Whitney board. In addition to a $131 million gift to the Whitney’s endowment, he donated works by Jasper Johns, Roy Lichtenstein, Claes Oldenburg, Cy Twombly and Andy Warhol, in addition to spearheading a gift by 11 trustees of 86 contemporary and modern works. In making such a sweeping gift to the Met, Lauder said he was motivated by “my love of art and my love of New York.” Above all, “I wanted to make it a gift to New York.” He added, “I was born in New York, went to grammar and high school here and it is the cultural capital of the world.”
Thomas P. Campbell, director and chief executive officer of the museum, said, “Leonard’s gift is truly transformational. 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.”
Lauder had no comment on reports that the collection of art has a value of more than $1 billion. The Lauder Collection will be presented for the first time at the Met in an exhibition scheduled to open in fall 2014.
The museum said the Lauder research facility will be a center for scholarship on cubism and early modern art. It is being modeled on research centers housed in other major public collections worldwide, serving as a magnet for the study of modernism. It is meant to foster research, programming and publications on the Met’s collections of modern art and on cubism’s enduring impact on art, design, and architecture in the 20th and 21st centuries.
My character, Dinah Madani, is just the coolest, [most] badass woman imaginable," says @amberroserevah. The actress stars in @marvel's newest series on @netflix, @thepunisher. To prepare for her role, Revah sat down with Homeland agents to get a real sense of with Dinah's day-to-day life is really like. Read our full interview on WWD.com. #wwdeye (📷: @jilliansollazzo)
A scene from the 91st annual @macys Thanksgiving Day Parade. The parade, which boasts 50 million TV viewers and 3.5 million on-site spectators, is considered one of the largest and most watched parades in the world. (📷: Jason Szenes/EPA-REX)
The circus came to @bloomingdales 59th Street on Tuesday night and lit up Lexington Avenue with acrobatic dancers, death-defying knife throwing, sword swallowing and aerial acts with no net. The 45 minutes of theatrics built up to unveiling the holiday windows depicting @swarovski crystal-encrusted circus pieces and scenes from “The Greatest Showman” – songs from the soundtrack included. See the rest of the photos on WWD.com #wwdfashion (📷: Joshua Scott)
The psychedelic fashion that pervaded the ’60s is back with an exhibit at the @museumofcityny. “Mode New York: Fashion Takes a Trip” chronicles the changing styles from 1960 through 1973 and features designers such as @ysl, @oscardelarenta and more. The exhibition, which is on display through April 1, is organized into four periods: First Lady Fasion, Youthquake, New Bohemia and New Nonchalance. Pictured here is model Pat Bardonella during the Garvey Day Parade in 1968. (📷: @kwamebphoto) #wwdeye #wwdfashion
“People should be a lot more honest in expressing both the dark and light of themselves. We need to give each other the space to do that because it’s the only way we can grow and evolve,” says @noelwells of her new film “Mr. Roosevelt,” which is largely based on her own struggles. Unexpectedly leaving @nbcsnl in 2014 after just one season, Wells felt set back in her self-esteem and career trajectory. She quickly refocused her energy to more personal projects, which led to the completion of “Mr. Roosevelt.” Read the rest of WWD’s interview with the “Master of None” actress on WWD.com #wwdeye (📷: @jilliansollazzo)
@barbrastreisand is giving fans a chance to see her perform up close in a new concert series, which makes its debut on @Netflix today. From behind-the-scenes takes to her concert performance in Miami last December, the two-hour streaming special captures Streisand in her element. Pictured here is the singer/actress photographed for WWD in 1963. (📷: Palmieri Tony) #wwdeye #wwdarchive
@chanel and @pharrell dropped what’s being dubbed as the world’s most exclusive sneakers yesterday. The Adidas Originals NMD Hu, which Williams designed in collaboration with Chanel and @adidasoriginals, has a waiting list of over 120K people who pre-registered online at chanelatcolette.fr –– and only 500 pairs are on sale. The singer predicted the resale value of the shoes could reach $40K. Read the full interview on WWD.com. Link in bio. #wwdfashion (📷: Dominique Maître)
@imanshumpert is diving deeper into his creative endeavors and relaunching his clothing line, Post 90s, and is helping to raise money for the hurricane victims in St. Maarten with a jersey he’s designed with his brother. The Cleveland Cavaliers player talked to WWD about kneeling during the national anthem, working with fashion brands and how he wants to be more than an @nba player. Read the interview on WWD.com #wwdfashion (📷: George Chinese)