The collection, which includes 33 Picassos, 17 Braques, 14 Légers and 14 works by Gris, is valued at more than $1 billion and will be one of the most significant gifts in the museum’s history.
“In one fell swoop this puts the Met at the forefront of early-20th-century art,” Thomas P. Campbell, the Met’s director, told the Times. “It is an unreproducible collection, something museum directors only dream about.”
The Times reports that the art has already begun arriving at the museum, for a show scheduled to open in the fall of 2014.
Lauder, 80, is the heir to the Estée Lauder fortune.
Lauder is also chairman emeritus of New York’s Whitney Museum of American Art, and in 2008 he gave the museum $131 million, the largest donation in the museum’s history. Lauder has never served on the Metropolitan Museum’s board, though he has been on two visiting committees. In 1984, he donated a collection of American art posters to the museum.
PHOTO: Pablo Picasso, Woman in an Armchair (Eva), 1913.