Scope and Content of Collection
Title: Giuseppe Panza papers
Collection number: 940004
ca. 117 linear feet
(311 boxes, 58
rolls, 3 flat file folders)
Getty Research Institute
Special Collections and Visual Resources
1200 Getty Center Drive, Suite 1100
Los Angeles, CA
Abstract: 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.
Language: Collection material in English, and Italian
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.
||Born March 23rd in Milan.
||Panza's father, Ernesto, purchases Villa Litta,
||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
||Acquires works by Robert Morris and Donald Judd.
||Exported works now owned by Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles (MOCA) to Switzerland.
Painting Trust (disbanded by 1978) and consummates Mönchengladbach
long-term loan agreement for art works of the 1950s and early
||Düsseldorf long-term loan agreement.
||Stopped collecting because of the Italian economic downturn.
||Museum programs begin in earnest with his collection that contains ca. 600
||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.
||Basel long-term loan agreement.
||Negotiations begin with Regione Piemonte about Castello di
Rivoli housing the collection.
||Offers his villa to Regione Lombardia.
||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
||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
||Musée Saint Etienne and Saint Pierre, Lyon
||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.
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 installation designs.
Indices exist for Series II, III, VIII and Panza's "drawings"
The collection is organized in nine series:
General files, 1956-1990
II. Works in the collection, 1959-1990
III. Writings, 1956-1990
IV. Miscellaneous artists, 1969-1990
Museums, 1959-1990, bulk 1970s-1980s
VI. Galleries, 1959-1990
VII. Photographs, ca. 1959-1990
VIII. Clippings, ca. 1960-1990
IX. Architectural drawings, ca. 1974-1990
Panza, Giuseppe—Art collections
Art, Modern—20th century
Art—Collectors and collecting
Light in art
Genres and Forms of Material
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-
Irwin, Robert, 1928-
Joseph, Peter, 1929-
Judd, Donald, 1928-
Kline, Franz, 1910-1962
Law, Bob, 1934-
Lewitt, Sol, 1928-
Lichtenstein, Roy, 1923-
Long, Richard, 1945-
Mangold, Robert, 1937-
Marden, Brice, 1938-
Meloni, Gino, 1905-
Nauman, Bruce, 1941-
Oldenburg, Claes, 1929-
Rauschenberg, Robert, 1925-
Rosenquist, James, 1933-
Rothko, Mark, 1903-1970
Ryman, Robert, 1930-
Serra, Richard, 1939-
Tàpies, Antoni, 1923-
Tremlett, David, 1945-
Vedova, Emilio, 1919-
Wheeler, Doug, 1939-
Museum of Contemporary Art (Los Angeles, Calif.)