‘I see myself as an explorer, a producer, and an experimentalist,” imperial archduchess Francesca von Habsburg once told ARTnews. Von Habsburg is an art collector and curator who, in 2002, founded the organization Thyssen-Bornemisza Art Contemporary—her father’s museum is the Thyssen-Bornemisza Museum of Art—as well as the affiliated TBA21-Academy, which brings artists and scientists and thinkers together to consider climate change by way of art and research into the world’s oceans. “I do not see myself as a traditional collector. The term would be too restricting to me,” she said. She has worked on a wide variety of projects with Christoph Schlingensief, Janet Cardiff, Olafur Eliasson, Raqs Media Collective, and many others.

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Francesca von Habsburg


Source of wealth:
Philanthropy (founder, Thyssen-Bornemisza Art Contemporary Collection and TBA21-Academy)

Collecting area:
Contemporary art

Top 200 appearance:
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Fun fact:

In the 1980s, von Habsburg had a rep as an “it girl” on the London party scene, dabbling in acting, singing, and modeling. She even lived for a time with Steve Strange, singer of the band Visage.