Tuesday 23 July 2019
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The News - 12 days ago

Texan widow gives massive donation of art to French gallery

PARIS: A Texan widow who discovered a love for French art during a trip to Paris in the 1970s is to donate another part of her vast collection of 19th-century masterpieces to France. Marlene Hays and her late husband, businessman Spencer Hays, had already given 187 artworks to the Orsay museum in Paris worth more than 173 million euros ($195 million), the biggest donation to a French museum since World War II. Now Hays, 82, who was widowed in 2017, is giving a further donation of 106 works from mostly post-Impressionist artists including Matisse, Bonnard, Modigliani and the sculptor Camille Claudel. The latest gift of 40 paintings, 47 works on paper and 19 sculptures brings the Hays donation to the world s greatest collection of Impressionist art to nearly 300 pieces. The couple who used to give each other masterworks for their birthdays were made commanders of the Legion d Honneur, one of France s highest honours, for their generosity by former president, Francois Hollande, in 2016.

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