Giuseppe Panza papers, 1956-1990. (Archival material, 1956) []
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Giuseppe Panza papers, 1956-1990.

Author: Giuseppe PanzaGiovanna PanzaCarl AndreRobert BarryLarry BellAll authors
Edition/Format:   Archival material : Photograph : Technical drawing : English
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

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Genre/Form: Photographs, Original
Architectural drawings (visual works)
Photographic prints
Named Person: Giuseppe Panza; Giuseppe Panza
Material Type: Photograph, Technical drawing, Internet resource
Document Type: Archival Material, Internet Resource
All Authors / Contributors: Giuseppe Panza; Giovanna Panza; Carl Andre; Robert Barry; Larry Bell; Louis Cane; Alan Charlton; Hanne Darboven; Douglas Davis; Walter De Maria; Jan Dibbets; Jean Fautrier; Dan Flavin; Hamish Fulton; Douglas Huebler; Peter Joseph; Donald Judd; Franz Kline; Joseph Kosuth; Sol LeWitt; Roy Lichtenstein; Richard Long; Robert Mangold; Brice Marden; Robert Morris; Bruce Nauman; Richard Nonas; Maria Nordman; Claes Oldenburg; Robert Rauschenberg; James Rosenquist; Robert Ryman; Richard Serra; Antoni Tàpies; David Tremlett; James Turrell; Lawrence Weiner; Doug Wheeler; Ian Wilson; Robert Irwin; Mark Rothko; Bob Law; Gino Meloni; Emilio Vedova; Pierre Restany; Germano Celant; Museum of Contemporary Art (Los Angeles, Calif.)
OCLC Number: 80369558
Notes: Indices exist for Series II, III, VIII and Panza's "drawings" collection.
Description: 117 lin. ft. (310 boxes, 58 rolls, 3 flat file folders)


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 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 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 are also many pieces of ephemera, photographs and some correspondence with artists about work that Panza choose not to acquire. The archive 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.

Series I. General files, has 36 lin. ft. (94 boxes) of correspondence and other material primarily relating to Panza's collection, and also about art and culture in general, filed alphabetically by correspondent or institution. Of particular interest are files pertaining to Panza's attempt to install his collection for the general public in museums and renovated villas and factories throughout Europe and the United States (especially in Mönchengladbach, Düsseldorf, Basel, Castello di Rivoli, Vigevano and his own villa in Varese). These files contain much correspondence with museum directors and curators, architectural drawings, and a very large quantity of installation designs by Panza, which record a focused and methodical approach to curating the collection. Concurrent correspondence with Beni Culturali officials, lawyers and others document Panza's legal problems associated with changes in Italian cultural patrimony laws and tax codes, which affected the eventual sale of part of the collection to the Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles (MOCA). There is other correspondence with critics, such as Germano Celant and Pierre Restany, and some with collectors, art world personalities and personal friends. Other material documents Panza's affiliations with various cultural associations, institutions and conferences.

Series II. Works in the collection, consists of 33 lin. ft. (64 boxes) of material in support of Panza's extensive collecting activities. It is divided into three sub-series: Artists, Primitive and Artists Deaccessioned.

Series IIA. Artists, filed alphabetically, contains files on artists Panza collected, which include: Carl Andre, Robert Barry, Larry Bell, Louis Cane, Alan Charlton, Hanne Darboven, Douglas Davis, Walter De Maria, Jan Dibbets, Jean Fautrier, Dan Flavin, Jamish Fulton, Douglas Huebler, Robert Irwin, Peter Joseph, Donald Judd, Franz Kline, Joseph Kosuth, Bob Law, Sol Lewitt, Roy Lichtenstein, Richard Long, Robert Mangold, Brice Marden, Robert Morris, Bruce Nauman, Richard Nonas, Maria Nordman, Claes Oldenburg, Robert Rauschenbert, James Rosenquist, Mark Rothko, Robert Ryman, Richard Serra, Antoni Tàpies, David Tremlett, James Turrell, Lawrence Weiner, Doug Wheeler, and Ian Wilson. Materials consist of invoices; correspondence with galleries and artists; loan agreements; photographs of works installed at the villa and of important documents in the archive; announcements and invitations; shipping documents; some small drawings and sketches (see especially Larry Bell, Robert Irwin, Sol Lewitt, Robert Morris, Richard Serra and James Turrell); and copies of certificates of authenticity.

Series IIB. Primitive contains 2 boxes of black and white photographs and photocopies of Panza's primitive art collection. Many have typed descriptions verso.

Series IIC. Artists deaccessioned has similar material and files to Series IIA, but also includes correspondence about Panza's sale of the art works.

Series III. Writings, contains 4.5 lin. ft. (11 boxes) of manuscripts and typescripts by Panza, some annotated and many photocopied, on art related topics, some of which are unpublished. For those that have been published the files sometimes include clippings, photocopies or journals. Some of the works were written or translated into English and French. There is much production material relating to Christopher Knight's book Art of the Sixties and Seventies: The Panza Collection (New York, 1987). This series also has one box of date books from 1978-1990.

Series IV. Miscellaneous artists, 9 lin. ft. (24 boxes) of material sent to Panza from galleries or artists to solicit sales. In some cases there is substantial material which Panza accumulated as he considered whether or not to make acquisitions. Most of the artists are from the United States, especially Southern California. Material consists of correspondence with artists and galleries, photographs, slides, transparencies, announcements, invitations, biographies, photocopied articles and clippings. The bulk of this series is from the 1970s and 1980s.

Series V. Museums, 10 lin. ft. (26 boxes) primarily correspondence documenting Panza's relationships with museums throughout the United States and Europe from 1959-1990, bulk 1970s-1980s. Many of the letters refer to Panza's search for permanent installations of his collection, long-term and temporary exhibition loans, and visits by others to his villa in Varese. Included is extensive and comprehensive material (1980-1987) from the Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles (MOCA) about board of trustee and curatorial functions, and regarding the sale of his collection to MOCA.

Series VI. Galleries, has ca. 3,500 pieces (7.5 lin. ft. in 19 boxes) of printed ephemera in the form of announcements and invitations, but some notable correspondence is interfiled, dating from 1959-1990, bulk 1987-1990. A separate box contains correspondence with prominent gallery owners, including Leo Castelli and Richard Demarco about purchases, the settlement of accounts and Panza's involvement with the Edinburgh Art Festival, bulk 1973-83.

Series VII. Photographs contains 13.5 lin. ft. of photographs of works in the collection (duplicating the photographs in Series IIA) filed alphabetically by artist, with separate boxes of duplicate photographs filed numerically. There are photographs of Panza's furniture and tapestry collection, original Ugo Mulas prints, and two separate boxes with photographs of Panza and his family, and Panza and his wife attending art related functions. Also contained within this series are glass slides of most of the works now at MOCA, slides of various artists' works and some oversize photographs of Minimal and Conceptual drawings in the collection.

Series VIII. Clippings has ca. 10.5 lin. ft. of magazine and newspaper clippings and photocopies of articles primarily about the collection. Most of the German texts have an accompanying Italian translation.

Series IX. Architectural drawings holds ca. 980 plans, sections and elevations of Panza's museum projects, some with Panza's installation designs, ca. 1974-1980s. There are many duplicates within this series and some for those in Series I.


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