News and analysis
February 06, 2011

No. 35 (tied): Alvin S. and Terese Lane

Alvin S. and Terese Lane

Amount donated in 2010: $30-million

Beneficiary: Chazen Museum of Art at the University of Wisconsin at Madison

Donors’ background: Mr. Lane was a partner at Wien, Lane & Klein, a law firm in New York.

Mr. Lane, who was 89 when he died in 2007, and his wife, Terese, who was 88 when she died in 2010, bequeathed a collection of 340 artworks valued at about $30-million to the Chazen Museum of Art at the University of Wisconsin at Madison. The collection includes sculptures and preparatory drawings by Alexander Calder, Pablo Picasso, and other 20th-century artists. Mr. Lane graduated from the university in 1940 with a bachelor’s degree in history. Russell Panczenko, the museum’s director, got to know the Lanes in the late 1980s when he traveled to New York to visit alumni in the area. A New Jersey native, Mr. Lane once told Mr. Panczenko that he decided to attend the University of Wisconsin when he was unable to attend some East Coast universities because of quotas for Jewish students.

Over time a friendship developed, and in the following years Mr. Panczenko tried to persuade the Lanes that the Chazen would be the best fit for the couple’s collection. But Mr. Lane wasn’t completely convinced. By 1995 Mr. Panczenko had talked the Lanes into showing some of their collection at the museum. Pleased with the experience and impressed with the extensive amount of space their art was given, the couple decided to leave the bulk of their collection there.

The Lanes also left a painting by Jasper Johns to the Currier Museum of Art, in Manchester, N.H., and another painting by Stuart Davis to the Hood Museum of Art at Dartmouth College, in Hanover, N.H. Officials at both of those museums declined to place a value on the paintings and said they have not received the works from the Lanes’ estate.

— Maria Di Mento

View more profiles of donors who gave the most in 2010.