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Met Museum of Art gets more than 370 works plus $80 million

Posted: 11:17 PM, Nov 13, 2019
Updated: 2019-11-13 23:17:06-05

NEW YORK — A longtime benefactor of the Metropolitan Museum of Art has proved her generosity even after death — with more than 370 donated works and $80 million for acquisitions.

The museum  announced  Wednesday that Jayne Wrightsman planned those gifts to the museum before she died in April at 99.

Keith Christiansen, the Met’s chairman of European paintings, told The New York Times that the bequest includes Van Dyck’s portrait of Queen Henrietta Maria and Delacroix’s “Rebecca and the Wounded Ivanhoe.”

“The Wrightsman bequest is the culmination of a half century of giving that has transformed the collection of Old Master paintings, taking it in totally new directions,” Christiansen told the Times.

The $80 million is part of the Wrightsman Fund, which supports acquisitions of works from Western Europe and Britain created between 1500 and 1850.

Wrightsman, a Michigan native, and her husband, the late Charles Wrightsman, donated a total of more than 1,200 works to the New York museum.

The couple lived in an 18-room apartment on Fifth Avenue just south of the famed museum — art collectors and philanthropists who appeared there often after Charles Wrightsman retired as an oil executive. Both were Met trustees who over the years also gave the Met works by Monet, Renoir, Vermeer, El Greco, Rubens and other greats.