An investor, an entrepreneur, and Poland’s richest woman, Grażyna Kulczyk started collecting art while she was still a law student. Among her earliest purchases were posters, created outside of the purview of the then-ruling Communist government, and 19th-century Polish art. With the fall of Communism, Kulczyk shifted her focus in both business and collecting: she ventured into automobiles, telecommunications, and energy, and started supporting contemporary Polish art. She followed this dedication by purchasing the Stary Browar, an abandoned brewery in her hometown of Poznan in the western part of Poland, and converting it into a center for commerce and art in 2003; today, it includes numerous retail stores and art galleries. Her collection, which originally focused exclusively on Polish artists, now includes a host of international figures. Among the artists featured are Judy Chicago, Donald Judd, Eva Hesse, Jenny Holzer, Carol Rama, Alina Szapocznikow, and Rosemarie Trockel. In 2018, she announced plans to open a multifarious contemporary art museum and research institute in the remote town of Susch, in the eastern Swiss Alps, near Davos and St. Moritz.

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Grażyna Kulczyk

Engadin, Switzerland

Source of wealth:
Investments; entrepreneur; philanthropy (Muzeum Susch)

Collecting area:
Postwar and contemporary art, with an emphasis on women artists and conceptual and performance art

Top 200 appearance:
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Fun fact:

When she was running automobile dealerships, Kulczyk would display art in the showrooms. “I even offered works along with the cars sometimes, and then sent the artists the money,” she told the Financial Times in 2014.