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Fowler Museum at UCLA receives art gift estimated at $14 million

originally posted by The Los Angeles Times
October 22, 2013

The Fowler Museum at UCLA has received a gift of African wood and ivory carvings that is estimated to be worth $14 million. The gift was made by collector and Silicon Valley pioneer Jay Last and his wife, Deborah, in honor of the museum’s 50th anniversary.

The gift consists of 92 wood and ivory objects from the Lega people of the Democratic Republic of Congo. The gift includes carved figures, masks and various implements. News of the gift was first reported Monday by art blogger William Poundstone.

The Fowler was established at UCLA in 1963 as the Museum and Laboratories of Ethnic Arts and Technology. The museum, which focuses on art from cultures around the world, has changed its name a number of times and took on its present name in 2006.

Jay Last is a scientist who is widely considered to be a “father” of present-day Silicon Valley, having worked in the semiconductor field during its early days. He and his wife have been avid collectors for many years.

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