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NYC Museum Given $1 Billion in Cubist Art

This undated photo provided by the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York shows Fernand Léger's 1914 "Le fumeur (The Smoker)," which is one of the paintings in the collection of Leonard Lauder he has donated to the museum.
This undated photo provided by the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York shows Fernand Léger's 1914 "Le fumeur (The Smoker)," which is one of the paintings in the collection of Leonard Lauder he has donated to the museum.
VOA News
Cosmetics company heir and art collector Leonard Lauder is donating his $1 billion Cubist art collection to New York City's famed Metropolitan Museum of Art.
 
The gift includes 78 works by Pablo Picasso, Georges Braque, Jaun Gris, and Fernand Leger. 
 
In a statement, the museum says the collection "is unsurpassed in the number of masterpieces and and iconic works critical to the development of Cubism. "
 
Museum Director Thomas Campbell described the donation as "truly transformational".
 
The 80-year-old Lauder is heir to the Estee Lauder cosmetics fortune and his collection of Cubist art is considered one of the most significant ever assembled.
 
Highlights of the collection include Picasso's "The Scallop Shell" from 1912 and Woman in an Armchair (Eva) from 1913. The Lauder collection will be unveiled in Fall 2014.
 
Cubism is described as one of the most influential art movements of the 20th century with artists of the genre breaking ground in their attempts to show the world through two-dimensional geometric shapes or planes. 
 
The museum also announced Wednesday that it is establishing a new research center for modern art supported by a $22 million endowment funded by grants from trustees and supporters, including Lauder.

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