Lloyd E. Cotsen and Cotsen Children's Library
After Lloyd Cotsen donated his collection of children’s literature to Princeton in 1994, it took three 18-wheelers to deliver it all. The books, manuscripts, and drawings from Russia, China, Australia, and other nations — some of which date back to the 15th century — number about 120,000, according to Andrea Immel, curator of the collection.
“One of the things that made him a great collector was that he saw beauty and cultural significance in things other people ignored. He didn’t collect to impress others,” she says. “When he’d come back from a business trip, we’d say, ‘Mr. C.’s been shopping again,’” recalls Immel; “There would be bags and bags and bags and bags.”
Cotsen was the president, CEO, and chairman of Neutrogena Corp. In 1994 when Cotsen sold Neutrogena, the company his father-in-law founded but that he turned into a worldwide brand, his share was more than $350 million. Among many institutions that benefited from Cotsen’s interests, in addition to his alma mater, were the Asian Art Museum in San Francisco, the Shanghai Museum in China, the Museum of International Folk Art in Santa Fe, and UCLA, where he endowed an institute for archaeology — another of his passions.