4 Rich People Who Donate to the Arts

If you had extra money to burn, what would you do with it? Celebrities and other rich people from all over the world are known for buying expensive items, including fantastic works of art. However, some of these people also donate to the arts without expecting so much as a painting in return. Below are some generous donors who are well-known for giving to various art foundations, museums, and other groups.

Julio Herrera Veluntini 

Julio Herrera Velutini made his fortune in the banking world. His family has been working in banking for five generations! During this time, his family founded Banco Caracas, which was later acquired by another company in 2000, and is now called Banco de Venezuela.

Outside of his family’s legacy, Veluntini has made his own fortune by working as a chairman of Inversiones Transbanca. He has also founded Financiera Venezolana, along with several other banks in Venezuela. He donates to arts-focused nonprofits through the Internacional Art Fund. Among other things, this nonprofit helps to support the art world in Venezuela. Some of this centers around sustaining art museums, as some of the art was previously stolen from Jewish artists during World War II. With some of that art now surrendered by museums, the museums are endeavoring to fill their walls with native Venuzlean art.

Eli and Edythe Broad

Business-tycoon power-couple Eli and Edythe Broad have been donating to the arts for decades. Eli Broad made his fame and fortune, both in insurance and architecture. He started building his wealth in 1957 when he co-founded Kaufman & Broad, a home-building company. He got into the insurance game later on when he bought Sun Life Insurance, which he sold for a major profit in 1998.

Both Eli and his wife, Edythe, have created two foundations together. One of these foundations (The Broad Institute) supports medical research, while the other (The Broad Foundation) focused on education and the arts. The couple also opened the Broad Museum in 2015, which hosts a contemporary art collection.

Leonard Lauder

Leonard Lauder is one of the heirs to the Estee Lauder fortune. This company is famous for making and selling cosmetics and other beauty supplies. He joined the company, founded by his mother with the same name, in 1958. While working here, he grew the company by buying up other cosmetics brands, including MAC and Bobbi Brown. He continued to work here until 1999 when he retired as SEO.

Lauder’s biggest contribution to the art world happened in 2013 when he donated his $1 billion Cubist art collection to the Metropolitan Museum of Art. Outside of the art world, he also donates to medical causes. He, along with his brother Ronald Lauder, co-chair the Alzheimer’s Drug Discovery Foundation, which has donated over $150 million as of 2021.

It is refreshing to see millionaires and billionaires donate some of their wealth to good causes. With government funding to the arts generally being low, communities need their well-off members to support museums and other foundations. The community can directly benefit from these people’s generous donations.

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