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Metropolitan Museum to receive Cubist collection

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Pablo Picasso's Woman in an Armchair, 1913, oil on canvas. Promised gift from the Leonard A. Lauder Cubist Collection; © 2013 Estate of Pablo Picasso/Artists Rights Society, New York. Pablo Picasso's Woman in an Armchair, 1913, oil on canvas. Promised gift from the Leonard A. Lauder Cubist Collection; © 2013 Estate of Pablo Picasso/Artists Rights Society, New York.
The Metropolitan Museum of Art (photo by MyFoxNY.com) The Metropolitan Museum of Art (photo by MyFoxNY.com)
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Philanthropist Leonard Lauder has pledged to donate his collection of dozens of works by Pablo Picasso, Georges Braque, Juan Gris, and Fernand Léger, which is considered of the most renowned collections of Cubism in the world, to the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City.

Thomas Campbell, the director and CEO of the museum, called the pledge an "extraordinary gift to our Museum and our City."

"Leonard's gift is truly transformational for the Metropolitan Museum," Campbell said in an 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."

Lauder's collection includes 33 works by Picasso, 17 by Braque, 14 by Gris, and 14 by Léger. He has been aquiring Cubist art for 37 years, according to the museum. The collection includes Picasso's Woman in an Armchair (Eva) (1913), Braque's Trees at L'Estaque (1908), Léger's Houses under the Trees (1913), and Gris's Portrait of the Artist's Mother (1912).

The collection will debut at the museum in an exhibition scheduled to open in fall 2014.

In connection with this gift, the museum is creating a research center for modern art through a $22 million endowment funded by grants from museum trustees and supporters, including Lauder.

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