la times

Photo courtesy of Los Angeles Times

News of Jerry Perenchio, a retired entertainment mogul, entrusting $500 million worth of art to the Los Angeles Contemporary Museum of Art has been turning heads and arousing worldwide interest in the region’s already flourishing art community.

Comprising of 47 pieces, the collection is the “greatest gift of art to LACMA in its history”, says Michael Govan, the museum’s director and chief executive, and is quite possibly the greatest gift that any museum has received. Of special importance, however, is the Bel Air billionaire’s caveat: LACMA will get to secure the art after his death only when the construction of its new modern building is completed.

“I believe it’s important for Los Angeles County and LACMA to help make this new building possible,” shared Perenchio at a news conference last Thursday. “A big part of the heart and soul of any city is the dedication and commitment to the arts.”

The notoriously quiet art collector has been making charitable donations anonymously for over 35 years but decided to step into the limelight to encourage other prominent collectors and philanthropists to support the new LACMA building.

Works by the greatest painters of the 19th and 20th centuries—Edgar Degas, Claude Monet, Pablo Picasso, Edouard Manet, Rene Magritte, and Paul Cezanne—are included in the collection that took half a century to amass.

LACMA’s new home on Museum Row in Los Angeles will be designed by Swiss architect Peter Zumthor and is slated for completion in 2023. Totalling $600 million in projected costs, the building will feature serpentine glass and grey concrete slabs, which are elevated a full story off the ground.

Find out more about the generous donor here, and be sure to fit in a visit to LACMA this winter.