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September 16, 2015

L.A. Donor Pledges $30 Million From Art Sale to Synagogue

Los Angeles arts patron Audrey Irmas's sale of a 1968 Cy Twombly painting will reap $30 million for Wilshire Boulevard Temple, the city's oldest Jewish congregation, reports the Los Angeles Times. The donation will support the construction of a 55,000-square-foot events center next to its historic 1929 house of worship, the temple announced Tuesday.

The November 11 Sotheby's auction of the large work from Mr. Twombly's "blackboard" series is expected to fetch more than $60 million, as did another work in the series that was sold last fall. All of the proceeds will go to the Audrey Irmas Foundation for Social Justice, which has earmarked $30 million for the events center. The facility, due to open in 2019, will be named for Ms. Irmas, the widow of lawyer and investor Sidney Irmas and a longtime donor to Jewish causes and major Los Angeles museums.