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Giuseppe Panza: Memories of a Collector

I had been meaning to write a post about Italian art collector Giuseppe Panza and his book Memories of a Collector for a few months but kept putting it off. Then I saw the book on a desk in the BKH designed room at the Kips Bay Show House and decided that it was now or never.

Count Giuseppe Panza di Biumo has been a world class art collector for more than fifty years and spent much of his young years visiting artist's studios in downtown Manhattan before it was considered fashionable. His collection consists of the who's who of the modern art world including Mark Rothko, Robert Rauschenberg, and Franz Kline. He was undaunted in his hunt for great art and found Mark Rothko who he found "hard at work amid stacks of vibrant, unsold canvases." Can you imagine?! In his memoir, Panza also shares philosophical insights and personal reflections of a life spent discovering new artists and movements that any collector, no matter how big or small, would appreciate.

Panza more recently donated works by Winston Roeth to the Palazzo Ducale di Sassuolo in Modena, Italy and they look quite beautiful in the opulant space. A testament that you shouldn't be afraid to mix modern or contemporary art into very classically designed spaces.

Winston Roeth at the Palazzo Ducale di Sassuolo
Winston Roeth at the Palazzo Ducale di Sassuolo

Panza acts as his own curator at the magnificent Villa Menafoglio Litta Panza.

A room in the Villa Menefoglio Litta Panza with Paintings by Phil Sims.

Another work by Phil Sims.

A piece by Lawrence Weiner offers a "meditation on morality above a plush red Italian Renaissance banquette."

I love how the two chairs remind me of Giuseppe Panza and his wife of fifty years, Rosa, below.

"Art, in it's essence, is always about the search for beauty. They looked for beauty in the medieval period, and in the Renaissance, and the best artists still search for it today." -Giuseppe Panza

And you can find beauty in Giuseppe Panza's wonderful book Memories of a Collector. Ciao!


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