An American donor is bequeathing 15 works to the Auckland Art Gallery, including works by Cezanne, Picasso and Matisse.
Julian Robertson and his wife Josie have been involved in luxury golf developments in Northland and Hawke's Bay.
Gallery director Chris Saines says their gift is astonishing. It represents many of the artists from the birth of modernism.
Mr Saines says the paintings will not belong to the gallery until the Robertsons die, but should be in place after renovations in 2011.