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.
A Stella McCartney sketch of a custom dress made from protein-based silk in partnership with biotech lab Bolt Threads. The dress will be displayed at The Museum of Modern Art's upcoming design exhibition, "Items: Is Fashion Modern?"