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Published: Thursday, 4/18/2013

Cubist onslaught

Cubist paintings, drawings, and sculptures are among the most prized of 20th-century art masterpieces. Pablo Picasso and Georges Braques created the movement, collaborating on its earliest pieces.

Art collector and philanthropist Leonard Lauder recently offered a gift of 78 cubist paintings, worth $1 billion, to New York’s Metropolitan Museum of Art. The Met’s board eagerly accepted.

The Met has been the also-ran in the New York museum world on early-20th century modern art. It trails the Museum of Modern Art and the Guggenheim Museum in the breadth and quality of pieces from that era. Now, the Met will be the home of one of the richest collections of cubism in the world.

It is a magnificent gesture toward a museum that is often overlooked by tourists who flock to MOMA. The 78 pieces will be the stars of the Met’s soon-to-be renovated galleries.

The Lauder gift benefits not only the Met, but also a grateful public that will finally get to see these works in a museum setting for the first time. One of the world’s most celebrated collections can soon be celebrated by all.

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