A long-time anonymous supporter of the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, entertainment mogul Jerry Perenchio, of Univision Communications, announced publicly today he would bequest almost his entire collection to the museum. The bequest includes some 47 works valued at $500 million with paintings by European masters Picasso, Pissarro, Manet, Degas, and Bonnard, making it the largest gift of art in the museum's history.
"L.A. is my home, and I wanted to leave it to a museum here," Perenchio told the L.A. Times in a rare interview with the media.
Perenchio, who sold the Spanish-language TV network in 2007 for a reported $12.3 billion, has made a number of significant contributions to the museum over the years, but none this big and always anonymously. Perenchio told the L.A. Times he went public with his gift to encourage other collectors to support the LACMA.
The gift comes with just one, albeit significant, catch: the museum must first complete the construction of its new building, estimated to cost $600 million.
This news comes on the heels of the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors approving plans to publicly finance $125 million of the museum's overhaul with bonds, while museum leaders have pledged to privately raise an additional $475 million for the project. Plans include tearing down four existing buildings and constructing a new building designed by Swiss architect Peter Zumthor, which they hope to complete in 2023.
(Image on right: Jerry Perenchio and actress Anjelica Huston at the 2014 LACMA Art + Film Gala honoring Barbara Kruger and Quentin Tarantino. Photo by RICH POLK/GETTY IMAGES FOR LACMA)