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LACMA Gains a Half-Billion Dollar Art Collection From Former Univision Exec

LOS ANGELES (CNS) - The Los Angeles County Museum of Art announced that it has been promised the largest donation of works of art in its history -- at least 47 paintings valued at $500 million from 83-year-old former Univision Communications Chairman and CEO Jerry Perenchio.

The donation will include masterpieces by Bonnard, Degas, Picasso, Manet, Monet and Pissarro, museum officials said.

The donor was revealed to be one-time talent agent Perenchio, who, before he acquired Univision, was a co-owner of Avco Embassy Picture Corp. Bought for $25 million in 1981, Avco was sold four years later for $485 million, and Univision, purchased for $550 million in 1992, was sold in 2007 for $12.3 million.

At his Bel-Air home Wednesday, Perenchio told The LA Times that he will be giving almost all of his collection -- at least 47 works valued at $500 million -- to LACMA.

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Press Conference announcing donation at LACMA | Source: @LACMA

"L.A. is my home, and I wanted to leave it to a museum here," he said. The bequest would go into effect after his death and, according to The Times, comes with a big string attached: The museum must first complete construction of its new building, which is planned for 2023.

The Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors Wednesday approved $125 million in funding for a new museum building at the LACMA campus on Wilshire Boulevard. The new 400,000-square-foot building, designed by Swiss architect Peter Zumthor, will replace four existing structures on the site.

The Ahmanson and Hammer buildings and Bing Center were built in 1965. The fourth structure set for demolition, the Art of the Americas Building, was completed in 1985.

"The 1965 buildings are really ailing. They are not worth saving,'' LACMA CEO Michael Govan told the board Wednesday. He said the buildings have water damage and failing mechanical systems.

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Press Conference announcing donation at LACMA | Source: @LACMA

The Zumthor building is expected to cost about $600 million, with the balance of the funds coming from private donations collected over a period of 20 years. To expedite design and construction, the county is expected to issue bonds to cover project costs while private donations are being solicited.

Newer museum properties, including the Broad Contemporary Art Museum and Resnick Pavilion, will be used as collateral for the bonds. Construction is expected to begin in 2019 and to be completed in 2023. The museum plans to remain open throughout the project.

The museum has doubled its exhibitions and its attendance to 1.2 million
over the past seven years, according to Govan, who was hired in 2006. It is
reported to contain more than 120,000 works and to be the biggest art museum in
the nation.

LACMA became an independent county art museum in 1961. Before that, it was part of the Los Angeles Museum of History, Science and Art.

Peruse a sampling of artworks featured in Perenchio's collection below:

Claude Monet. "Asters," 1880, Oil on canvas, 32 3/4x26 3/4 in. (83.2x67.9cm)
Claude Monet. "Asters," 1880, Oil on canvas, 32 3/4x26 3/4 in. (83.2x67.9cm)
Gustave Caillebotte, "Un Soldat," 1881, Oil on canvas, 42x29 1/2in. (106.7x74.9cm)
Gustave Caillebotte, "Un Soldat," 1881, Oil on canvas, 42x29 1/2in. (106.7x74.9cm)
Claude Monet, "Nymphéas," 1905, Oil on canvas, 35x39 3/4in. (88.9x101cm)
Claude Monet, "Nymphéas," 1905, Oil on canvas, 35x39 3/4in. (88.9x101cm)
Pablo Picasso, "Tête (Head of Fernande)," 1909, Gouache and pencil on paper, 24 1/2x18 1/4 inc. (62.2x46.4cm) © 2014 Estate of Pablo Picasso/Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York
Pablo Picasso, "Tête (Head of Fernande)," 1909, Gouache and pencil on paper, 24 1/2x18 1/4 inc. (62.2x46.4cm) © 2014 Estate of Pablo Picasso/Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York

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