The Huntington’s Big Bonus

Photo by Aaron Logan

Photo by Aaron Logan

The Huntington Library, Art Collection, and Botanical Gardens is set to receive a gift in excess of $100 million from the late Frances Brody, an L.A. art patron and Huntington board member for 20 years. This will likely be the largest gift ever received by the non-profit institution.

Brody passed away in November 2009, leaving the Huntington $15 million (which it received this October). As the residual beneficiary, the Huntington is also heir to anything left over after all others are paid. This past May, Christie’s sold several of Brody’s artworks, including Picasso’s “Nude, Green Leaves and Bust.” It went for $106.5 million – a sum that will directly benefit the Huntington. Brody had previously refused to grant this artwork to the Huntington’s collection, but president Steven S. Koblik says this gift more than compensates.

“It was an amazing moment, “ Koblik said in an interview with the LA times. “When the Christie’s sale of the artwork proved so successful, we knew that would change the nature of our gift.”

The Huntington, which was founded in 1919, includes one of the country’s most comprehensive collections of 18th and 19th century French and British art, a library comprised of rare books and manuscripts, and 120 acres of botanical gardens. Per Brody’s wishes, the full gift will benefit the botanical gardens. Koblik has said that using the gift exclusively for the botanical gardens will free up funds to address other needs.

The Huntington is located in San Marino, California.

Currently on view:
Beauty and Power: Renaissance and Baroque Bronzes from the Peter Marino Collection
Oct. 9, 2010–Jan. 24, 2011
Charles Bukowski: Poet on the Edge
Oct. 9, 2010–Feb. 14, 2011
Evolving Ideas: Midcentury Printmakers Explore Process
Oct. 2, 2010–Jan. 3, 2011
The Lure of Myth: British Drawings from The Huntington’s Art Collections
Nov. 6, 2010 – Jan. 24, 2011

Meredith Hudson