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The New York Times just sent out a news flash saying that billionaire Leonard A. Lauder (as in Estee Lauder) has promised to give the Metropolitan Museum of Art is collection of 78 Cubist paintings, drawings and sculpture, valued at $1 billion. The collection includes 33 Picassos, 17 Braques, 14 Legers and 14 works by Gris.
From the Times:
Scholars say the collection is among the world’s greatest, as good, as if not better, than the renowned Cubist paintings, drawings and sculptures in institutions like the Museum of Modern Art in New York, the State Hermitage Museum in St. Petersburg and the Pompidou Center in Paris. Together they tell the story of a movement that revolutionized Modern art and fill a glaring gap in the Met’s collection, which has been notably weak in early-20th-century art. ...
“In one fell swoop this puts the Met at the forefront of early-20th-century art,” Thomas P. Campbell, the Met’s director, said. “It is an unreproducible collection, something museum directors only dream about.”
The NYT was told by Met officials that the museum has already begun to receive the art for an exhibition scheduled to open in the fall of 2014.