COURTESY ADELPHI UNIVERSITY

COURTESY ADELPHI UNIVERSITY

The Riggios own a controlling stake in Barnes and Noble. A native New Yorker, Leonard has been a major patron of New York University and the Dia Art Foundation, to which he gave at least $30 million before parting ways with the board over disagreements about its direction. The two have a formidable collection of American art, which includes landmark works by Lichtenstein, Ruscha, Judd, Close, and Serra. Following the announcement of his retirement from the B&N board in 2016, Riggio told ARTnews, “What I’m gonna want to do is spend more time and thought on public art. I’m going to orient our collecting with the idea, the specific idea, of putting together collections that can be housed within a single unit, and given to museums and institutions, to do the equivalent of the Rothko Chapel, or the Noguchi Museum. So we’ll give the works, and we’ll give the money to build the building, so the art can been seen in its best light. That’s kind of my passion.”

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Louise and Leonard Riggio

Location:
Bridgehampton, New York; Palm Beach, Florida

Source of wealth:
Retail (Barnes & Noble)

Collecting area:
Modern and contemporary art

Top 200 appearance:
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Fun fact:

The Riggios have an enormous sculpture, Torqued Ellipse by Richard Serra, at their home in Bridgehampton, New York, that is visible from Google Earth.