Leonard Lauder’s interest in art began when he was six years old and began collecting Art Deco postcards.
His postcard collection eventually grew to include more than 120,000 postcards. Last year, the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston exhibited 700 of them.
But postcards weren’t Lauder’s main artistic interest. He became more interested in Cubist art, by artists such as Pablo Picasso. He collected Cubist art for 37 years and built up a collection of 78 famous works.
Last week, he decided to donate his collection of Cubist art to New York’s Metropolitan Museum and to create a new research centre for modern art.
Lauder’s collection is worth more than $1-billion.
Some of the paintings are “the best and most important works of the four pre-eminent Cubist painters—Pablo Picasso, Georges Braque, Fernand Léger and Juan Gris,” according to a statement from the Metropolitan Museum.
Lauder, 80, comes from a very wealthy family. He is the son of Estée Lauder, who co-founded the Estée Lauder cosmetics company.
Lauder said he is donating his collection as “a gift to the people who live and work in New York and those from around the world who come to visit our great arts institutions.”