Billionaire William Louis-Dreyfus to donate art collection to Harlem Nonprofit

Julia and William Louis-Dreyfus in the show “TODAY” in 2014.

Fifty years of collecting 3,500 works of art will result in a great gift to a Harlem school. Parisian billionaire William Louis-Dreyfus, 82, said his collection would periodically be sold to benefit schoolchildren. His bequest includes works of approximately 170 artists, from big names like Alberto Giacometti, Helen Frankenthaler, Wassily Kandinsky and Jean Dubuffet, to foreign artists like Bill Traylor and many lesser known.

The collection is valued between 10 and 50 million dollars, estimates Louis-Dreyfus.

Proceeds from the sale will go to the Harlem Children’s Zone, which aims to prevent generational poverty through “cradle to college” education and support. Louis-Dreyfus discovered the innovative association thanks to a 60 minutes episode.

Many major benefactors choose existing museums, or build their own, to showcase and offer their collections. Louis-Dreyfus wants to sell his art to finance a good cause.

“I realized one morning that my kids didn’t need to be richer than them and that they didn’t need the loot from my collection,” he told Barron’s. Instead, “I could do something right and what I believe in.” “


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