Lebanese artist Khalil Saleeby was heralded as a genius who brought new ideas into a conservative society.
Until now, his works have been kept in private collections, but this year many have been restored, documented by auction house Sotheby's and shown in Paris.
A relative of Saleeby has now decided to give his collection to the American University of Beirut, stipulating that the paintings must never be sold and must be available to the public.
The Saleeby museum, named after the benefactors parents, will not open for another eight, but the paintings have already gone on show in a temporary space in Beirut.
The Lebanese government has so far not offered any funding for the museum, but other art lovers are already coming forward to donate more works and money.
Al Jazeera's Joanna Blundell reports.