Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Gift to Met

     New York’s Metropolitan Museum of Art   announced that cosmetics tycoon Leonard Lauder, son and heir of Estee herself, had given the institution a collection of 78 important Cubist pictures  (33 Picassos, 17 Braques, 14 Légers and 14 works by Gris)  that he has bought over the last 40 years. Leonard Lauder celebrated  80 years in March this year (read in Daily Beast)

     Cubism was a truly revolutionary style of modern art developed by Pablo Picasso and Georges Braques. It was the first style of abstract art which evolved at the beginning of the 20th century.

     Cubism was an attempt by artists to revitalize the tired traditions of Western art which they believed had run their course. The Cubists challenged conventional forms of representation, such as perspective, which had been the rule since the Renaissance.

     Their aim was to develop a new way of seeing which reflected the modern age (read more about  cubism at Arty Factory).


    “You can’t put together a good collection unless you are focused, disciplined, tenacious and willing to pay more than you can possibly afford,” Mr. Lauder said. “Early on I decided this should be formed as a museum collection,” and “whenever I considered buying anything, I would step back and ask myself, does this make the cut?”
 
As a result, much of his art comes from some of the world’s most celebrated collections, including those of Gertrude Stein, the Swiss banker Raoul La Roche and the British art historian Douglas Cooper.

    Leonard Lauder  is the chairman emeritus of cosmetics brand Estée Lauder and  has a net worth of $7.1 billion.  In 2001 he created "lipstick  index"- an economic indicator posited by Lauder based on the idea that lipstick and other cosmetics supposedly sold better in times of economic distress. Leonard Lauder  is also the chairman of the Whitney Museum of American Art. His art foundation gave  the museum $131 million in 2009.

    Mr. Lauder has also an excellent collection of the postcards. He began collecting postcards at age 6, and since he is a native New Yorker (Upper West Side), it is not surprising that  1,000 of his 200,000 cards capture what he calls ''street scenes of a lost New York.  He gave 20,000 postcards to the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston in 2002.