Date of Award


Document Type

Thesis - Open Access

Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)


Fine and Decorative Art and Design

First Advisor

Eric Wolf

Second Advisor

Ann-Marie Richard


This thesis highlights two New Yorkers who donate a plethora of art treasures to their beloved hometown. The value of these collective materials provides a permeance to the history of civilization. Art works within these institutions provides visual history and allows for an immediacy to learn and a simple way to connect with the past. However, the art is as good as it is culled into a meaningful collective with easy accessibility for all. The Leonard A. Lauder Cubist Collection at the Metropolitan Museum of New York and the Ronald S. Lauder Neue Galerie are two of the most distinguished assembled collections of the twentieth century in the United States. Delicate drawings on paper from the late nineteenth century up to the late twentieth century, to all a panorama of painting, sculpture, collages, decorative objects and design, the Lauder Collections are a treasure trove given to art institutions in New York. The significance as to “why New York” is telling. It is about the character and generosity of two boys who came from humble means to become two of the wealthiest businessmen in the world, and how their upbringing in the city provided them the enrichment of art; so much so, that their
hobby grew into two of the richest art collections in the great city in which they grew up and love.