Many new collectors bemoan the high price of blue-chip art but Leonard Lauder’s gift to the Met underscores an important fact about art collecting, it takes time, dedication and real focus. Here’s Lauder explaining to the New York Times’s Carol Vogel how he built a museum quality collection by tackling one of the most famous movements in Modernism, one that just happened to be slightly out of favor with fashion:
“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. […] Often, Mr. Lauder said, it took him years to find something he wanted to buy. “I’ve made more trips to Switzerland than I’d like to count,” he said with a chuckle. With the help of Emily Braun, an art historian who has worked as Mr. Lauder’s curator for 26 years, he was able to pick and choose the finest works that came on the market.
Cubism, Which Changed Art, Is Now Changing The Met (New York Times)