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Fresno Native To Donate $500 Million In Art To LA Museum

Nov 6, 2014

Jerrold “Jerry” Perenchio was awarded an honorary doctorate by California State University Fresno in 2011.
Credit California State University

The LA County Museum of Art has announced an estimated $500 million gift from Fresno native Jerry Perenchio. Born in Fresno in 1931, Perenchio is the former owner of the Spanish-language broadcast network Univision. Among the works in Perenchio's bequest are pieces by Degas, Monet, and Picasso.

In addition to his role in the broadcasting, Perenchio also built his fortune in other aspects of the entertainment industry, according to a biography from the California State University system:

He started his own agency, Perenchio Artists, in 1964 and merged with another agency to become Chartwell Artists in 1967, which grew to be the fifth-largest talent agency in the world.

In 1971, Jerry co-promoted the World Heavyweight Championship fight between Muhammad Ali and Joe Frasier at Madison Square Garden. Many consider it the greatest heavyweight fight of the century.

From 1973 to 1985, Jerry and his partner, Norman Lear, presided over Tandem Productions/Embassy Television. They were the most successful producers of prime-time television at the time, with hit shows that included All in the Family, Sanford and Son, Maude, Good Times, The Jeffersons, Mary Hartman Mary Hartman, One Day At a Time, The Facts of Life, Who's the Boss, Diff'rent Strokes and Silver Spoons. Also in 1982, he co-produced the film Blade Runner, and in 1989, in partnership with Richard Zanuck, he produced Driving Miss Daisy, which won the Academy Award for Best Picture.

In 1992 he and two business partners acquired Univision Communications, which they built into a Fortune 500 company and the dominant Spanish language television network in the country. He was Chairman of the Board and Chief Executive Officer until it was sold in 2007. Mr. Perenchio continues to run Chartwell Partners LLC, a private investment and consulting firm he founded in the late 1980s.

Fresno State awarded Perenchio an honorary doctorate in 2011.

In a press release LACMA described the Perenchio collection:

The distinguished collection, rarely seen in public, elucidates the road from Impressionism to Modernism. Highlights include three significant canvases by the great French Impressionist Claude Monet—a classic painting of water lilies, Nymphéas (c. 1905), the grand still-life, Asters (1880), as well as one of the four versions of the iconic Le Jardin de l’artist à Vétheuil (1881); the first painting by Edouard Manet to enter LACMA’s collection, the portrait of M. Gauthier-Lathuille fils (1879); Au Café Concert: La Chanson du Chien by Edgar Degas (1875); and three paintings by Camille Pissarro, among them the early Impressionist Le Déversoir de Pontoise (c. 1868). A Post-Impressionist standout by Pierre Bonnard, Après le repas (1925), joins a group of important twentieth-century works, including Pablo Picasso’s early drawing Tête (Head of Fernande) (1909), two exceptional paintings by Fernand Léger, and two by René Magritte, including the exceptional Les Liaisons dangereuses (1935).