Ronald Lauder recognized his love of art at an early age, when at 14, he purchased his first piece, an Egon Schiele watercolor. Since that day, his collection has only grown as he has amassed works from Van Gogh, Cézanne, Picasso, Matisse, and many more. In 2006, he purchased “Adele Boch-Bauer I” for $135 million, setting a record for the most money paid for a painting at the time; he calls the painting his “Mona Lisa.”
Beyond his talent for acquiring rare, lost, or valuable artwork, Ronald Lauder has given back to the arts community as well. When he was 32, Ronald Lauder became the Museum of Modern Art’s youngest trustee, he was chairman of the MoMA for years, and he remains one of MoMA’s two honorary chairmen alongside David Rockefeller.
In 2001, Lauder opened the Neue Galerie in New York, a gallery that features artwork from early 20th century Germany and Austria, a period that Lauder has focused much of his passion on as he’s helped recover “lost” artwork from the Nazi period. Ronald Lauder is truly one of New York’s cultural tours de force.