Archives Directory for the History of Collecting in America

Lauder, Leonard A.

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role Collector Patron
dates 1934-
city New York City
other citiesAspen, CO;
sex M
historical notes Collector and chairman of The Estée Lauder Companies Inc. Founded in 1946 by his mother, Estée Lauder. Mr. Lauder served as President of The Estée Lauder Companies Inc. from 1972 to 1995 and as Chief Executive Officer from 1982 to 1999. He added the title of Chairman in 1995.

Chairman of the Board of Trustees of the Whitney Museum of American Art, a Charter Trustee of The University of Pennsylvania, a Trustee of The Aspen Institute and the cofounder and director of the Alzheimer's Drug Discovery Foundation. He served as a member of the White House Advisory Committee on Trade Policy and Negotiations under President Reagan.

He was chief executive of Estée Lauder Companies until 1999; now he serves as chairman of the board. Today Estee Lauder dominates the prestige cosmetics industry with such brands as Estee Lauder, Clinique, MAC Cosmetics, Aveda, Bobbi Brown and Stila. Son William takes over as CEO in 2004. He is the son of Joseph and Estée Lauder, and the older brother of Ronald Lauder.

Leonard Lauder has long been a major benefactor of the Whitney Museum of American Art, where he has been chairman since 1994. He has donated both money and many works of art to the Whitney, and is the museum's most prolific fundraiser. The fifth floor permanent collection galleries are named for him and his wife, Evelyn. In 1998, he told a reporter for the New York Times that his "dream job" was to be the Whitney Museum's director.

Lauder began by buying Art Deco postcards when he was six, but his particular focus, rather than American works, is classic Cubist works by Picasso, Braque, Gris and Léger. Although focused on Cubists lauder's collecting includes 20th-century American art -- by Agnes Martin, Claes Oldenberg, Joseph Cornell, Robert Rauschenberg and Kenneth Noland.
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updated 02/07/2020 18:21:26
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Archives/Repository Collection Title Collection Details
Newberry Library
Roger and Julie Baskes Department of Special Collections
60 West Walton Street
Leonard A. Lauder collection of Raphael Tuck & Sons postcards see details...
Museum of Fine Arts, Boston
The Leonard A. Lauder Postcard Archive see details...
Museum of Fine Arts, Boston
The Leonard A. Lauder Collection of Japanese Postcards see details...

see also:
Lauder, Ronald S.