Billionaire Jerrold Perenchio Gifts $500 Million to LACMA

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Monet Water Lilies Nympheas

The Perenchio collection, which contains at least 47 artworks, will give a huge boost to the museum’s existing holdings in 19th- and 20th-century art. Including pieces by Cézanne, Magritte, Degas, Manet, Monet, and Picasso, most of Perenchio’s collection of paintings, sculptures, and works on paper, dates from the 1870s through the 1930s.

“Gifts of this magnitude are incredibly rare, especially in the fields of Impressionist and Modern art,” said LACMA director Michael Govan. “2015 will be LACMA’s 50th anniversary, and it is simply astounding to see how far this museum has come in just a few decades.”

The gift, which is intended for the planned new building, does come with a few strings: if the museum does not finish construction by 2023, when a new metro station is scheduled to be completed, the gift will be retracted. “Failure is not an option here,” Perenchio said. “We have to do it.”

Luckily, LACMA’s ambitious expansion plan has just received a major boost in the form of $125 million from the city. The project is expected to cost $600 million and the museum is expected to raise the remaining $475 million.

The expansion plans, which will replace seven smaller buildings with an integrated 410,000 square-foot building, have already been adjusted to ensure the preservation of the  La Brea Tar Pits. If Govan has his way, more construction will follow, including a condo that will potentially be designed by  Frank Gehry, which has already gotten its share of detractors

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