The Los Angeles County Museum of Art (LACMA) announced today that it has received a significant bequest of modern art from the aging chairman of Univision Communications, Jerry Perenchio. Amassed over several decades by the reclusive 84-year-old talent agent–turned–broadcast magnate, the gift is conditioned upon the museum’s completion of a $600 million new building project, which is slated to be finished in 2023. Earlier this week the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors approved a plan involving a design by Swiss architect Peter Zumthor that would see 21 percent of the project’s financing come from public coffers.
Comprising “at least” 47 works worth, according to the LA Times, a total of over $500 million, the collection includes significant 19th and 20th century paintings by Edgar Degas, Pablo Picasso, Claude Monet, Fernand Léger, Gustave Caillebotte, René Magritte, and others.
LACMA director Michael Govan described the donation as a “coup” for the institution, adding that such acquisitions would otherwise be financially “unthinkable.”
The donation includes a mixed media work by Degas, “Au Cafe Concert: La Chanson du Chien” (1875), and Monet’s “The Artist’s Garden at Vethéuil,” which bears a strong similarity to another painting at the Norton Simon Museum in neighboring Pasadena. Another important work in the collection, Gustave Caillebotte’s “Un Soldat” (1881), was acquired at auction in 2002, and has been compared to Manet’s “Le fifre” (1866).
Perenchio is best known for his role producing major Hollywood motion pictures, including Blade Runner (1982), the Academy Award-winning Driving Miss Daisy (1989), and Kahlo (2002). Select works from Perenchio’s promised gift will be on view at LACMA in the spring of 2015.