The Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York has acquired the 1914 Juan Gris Cubist still life The Musician’s Table. The collector Leonard A. Lauder, who previously founded the Met’s Leonard A. Lauder Research Center for Modern Art in 2013, helped the museum acquire the painting, which is now on view in its galleries. (Lauder appears on this year’s ARTnews “Top 200 Collectors” list.)
The Musician’s Table was on sale at a Christie’s auction of works from the collection of Peggy and David Rockefeller in New York this past May. The painting went for $31.8 million at that auction, making it one of the top lots at the sale.
Gris’s canvas was one of around 40 that he made over the course of a nearly year-long stretch in which he made use of collage techniques. Art historians have praised this part of Gris’s output as some of his most radical and creative work. Among its materials are newsprint, brown wrapping paper, and wallpaper, all of which are intended to bring the real world into his canvas.
In a statement, Max Hollein, the new director of the Met, praised Lauder for contributions to the Met’s holdings through his collection, which now includes some 83 works by Gris, Pablo Picasso, Georges Braque, and others, adding that “there is no one who better exemplifies the spirit of giving that has fostered the growth of The Met and the benefits it provides to the public than Leonard A. Lauder with his continued support of the collections as well as curatorial positions, and the Research Center.”
“I am inspired by previous generations of supporters who have contributed to making the Met’s collections among the greatest in the world,” Lauder said in a statement.