Scope and Content of Collection
Title: Giuseppe Panza papers
Date (inclusive): 1956-1990
117.0 linear feet
(311 boxes, 58 rolls, 3 flat file folders)
The Getty Research Institute
1200 Getty Center Drive, Suite 1100
Los Angeles, California, 90049-1688
Collection documents the Italian businessman's activities in collecting works by some of the seminal American artists involved
with abstract expressionist, pop, minimal, conceptual, environmental, and light and space art. The archive contains material
dating from 1956, when Panza began collecting. up to the sale of the second part of his collection to the Guggenheim Museum
in 1990. Panza's art collection is documented by correspondence with artists and galleries, photographs, small drawings, invoices,
loan requests, announcements, and invitations. The archive also includes a substantial quantity of Panza's writings on art;
papers and ephemera related to Panza's associations with museums, galleries, and cultural institutions; clippings and photocopies
of articles about the collection; and an extensive group of architectural drawings of potential sites for the collection,
many with Panza's installation designs.
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Language: Collection material is in English and Italian.
||Born March 23rd in Milan.
||Panza's father, Ernesto, purchases Villa Litta, Varese.
||Fled to Switzerland with his older brother to avoid being drafted into the German army.
||Bachelors in Law at University of Milan (never practiced, self-taught in art history). Started working in the family businesses
of real estate development and the manufacture of industrial alcohol.
||Married Rosa Giovanna Magnifico (5 children: Giuseppina, Alessandro, Federico, Giovanni, Giulio).
||Inherited family businesses with his brother. Began collecting.
||Acquires first Franz Kline work.
||Begins collecting Robert Rauschenberg's work.
||Purchases works from Claes Oldenburg's "The Store" and by James Rosenquist.
||Acquires works by Robert Morris and Donald Judd.
Painting Trust (disbanded by 1978) and consummates Mönchengladbach
long-term loan agreement for art works of the 1950s and early
||Exported works now owned by Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles (MOCA) to Switzerland.
||Düsseldorf long-term loan agreement.
||Basel long-term loan agreement.
||Because of a new Italian law regarding estates abroad, Panza must decide
to either sell that portion of his collection and bring the money home, or
bring the paintings back to Italy.
||Museum programs begin in earnest with his collection that contains ca. 600
||Stopped collecting because of the Italian economic downturn.
||Offers his villa to Regione Lombardia.
||Negotiations begin with Regione Piemonte about Castello di
Rivoli housing the collection.
||Düsseldorf and Basel exhibitions.
||Goes to court over re-importing works from Düsseldorf exhibition that were not specified (to export) in the contract.
||Comune di Varese discusses foundation for potential museum.
||MOCA purchases 50's and 60's works after the Italian government forces Panza to sell the collection and his other programs
||Begins collecting works by new artists (numbers close to 1,500 pieces by 1995).
||Musée Rath, Geneva and Reina Sofia Museum, Madrid exhibitions.
||Musée Saint Etienne and Saint Pierre, Lyon exhibitions.
||Guggenheim purchases and receives through long-term loan and gifts Minimal and Conceptual works collected prior to 1976.
||Exhibition and donation of ca. 200 works to the Lugano museum in Switzerland from Panza's recent acquisitions. Moves to Lugano
to be free of Italian governmental restrictions on the collection and archive.
||Donates 70 new works to MOCA.
Open for use by qualified researchers.
Giuseppe Panza papers, 1956-1990, Getty Research Institute, Research Library, Accession no. 940004.
Acquired from Panza in 1994.
The archive was extensively organized by members of Panza's family. Giovanni Panza, Panza's son, from 1987-1989 divided all
the material according to artist and subject. Giuseppina Caccia Dominioni Panza, Panza's daughter, began in 1989 to check
Giovanni's previous work, made files, matched photographs to each work and put all the papers into folders and boxes. In 1990
Cristiana Caccia Dominioni as well as Francesca Guicciardi Panza, daughter in-law of Panza, began helping Giuseppina. Francesca
checked all of the physical descriptions of the works of the collection. As of 1995, all three women worked three mornings
a week in Lugano on the archive supporting the art Panza currently collects. Lynda Bunting at the Getty Center began physical
processing and description of the archive March 1994 and finished May 1995.
The leather boxes were handmade by the Rilegatoria Conti Borbone di Marchesifirm in Milan. Four empty boxes and some folders
have been placed at the end of the collection for replacements.
Alternate Form Available
Sections of Series II.A available in photocopies.
Seven binders contain photocopies of the index housed in Boxes 156 A-B. The index is an item-level description of everything
in Series IIA. Artists. The files are grouped alphabetically by artist and sub-divided into categories of works, miscellaneous
personal correspondence, miscellaneous gallery correspondence, announcements and invitations, photographs, works not in the
collection (i.e. deaccessioned), shipment and invoice documents and miscellaneous. Each sheet describing an art work is marked
in the upper right hand corner with Panza's inventory system of the artist's initials and numbered sequentially and with its
corresponding box and folder number. The index was made by Panza's family (see Processing History).
It should be noted that the titles and dimensions listed in the index for the works now at Museum of Contemporary Art, Los
Angeles (MOCA) have been updated by that institution's registrarial office. Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles (MOCA)
should be consulted for more details.
A separate binder has photocopies of the indices for Panza's Primitive collection and the clippings series.
Scope and Content of Collection
The Giuseppe Panza Papers document the Italian businessman's considerable activities in collecting contemporary art. Panza
collected works by some of the seminal American artists involved with Abstract Expressionist, Pop, Minimal, Conceptual, Environmental,
and Light and Space art. The archive contains material from the time when he began collecting in 1956 up to the sale of the
second part of his collection to the Guggenheim Museum, New York, in 1990. The portion of the archive relating to his most
recent acquisitions from 1987 onward, remains in Panza's possession.
The archive has letters and other materials pertaining to Panza's various art related activities and much about his museum
programs. He contacted many museum directors and Italian officials to garner support for his proposals to create museums utilizing
works from his collection. Panza's art collection is documented by correspondence with and about artists and galleries, photographs,
small drawings, invoices, loan requests, announcements and invitations, that were accumulated by Panza during the acquisition
process and throughout his entire ownership period. There is also much ephemera, photographs and some correspondence with
artists that Panza did not collect. The archive also includes a substantial quantity of Panza's writings on art; papers and
ephemera related to Panza's associations with museums, galleries and cultural institutions; clippings and photocopies of articles
on the collection; and an extensive group of architectural drawings of potential sites for the collection, many with Panza's
Indices exist for Series II, III, VIII and Panza's "drawings" collection.
The collection is organized in nine series:
Series I. General files, 1956-1990;
Series II. Works in the collection, 1959-1990;
Series III. Writings, 1956-1990;
Series IV. Miscellaneous artists, 1969-1990;
Series V. Museums, 1959-1990, bulk 1970s-1980s;
Series VI. Galleries, 1959-1990;
Series VII. Photographs, ca. 1959-1990;
Series VIII. Clippings, ca. 1960-1990;
Series IX. Architectural drawings, ca. 1974-1990
Subjects - Names
Subjects - Topics
Art, Modern--20th century
Art--Collectors and collecting
Light in art
Genres and Forms of Material
Architectural drawings (visual works)
Andre, Carl, 1935-
Barry, Robert, 1936-
Cane, Louis, 1943-
Davis, Douglas, 1933-
De Maria, Walter, 1935-
Dibbets, Jan, 1941-
Fautrier, Jean, 1898-1964
Flavin, Dan, 1933-1996
Irwin, Robert, 1928-
Joseph, Peter, 1929-
Judd, Donald, 1928-1994
Kline, Franz, 1910-1962
Law, Bob, 1934-2004
LeWitt, Sol, 1928-2007
Lichtenstein, Roy, 1923-1997
Long, Richard, 1945-
Mangold, Robert, 1937-
Marden, Brice, 1938-
Meloni, Gino, 1905-1989
Morris, Robert, 1931-
Museum of Contemporary Art (Los Angeles, Calif.)
Nauman, Bruce, 1941-
Oldenburg, Claes, 1929-
Rauschenberg, Robert, 1925-2008
Rosenquist, James, 1933-
Rothko, Mark, 1903-1970
Ryman, Robert, 1930-
Serra, Richard, 1939-
Tremlett, David, 1945-
Tàpies, Antoni, 1923-
Vedova, Emilio, 1919-2006
Wheeler, Doug, 1939-
Wilson, Ian, 1940-