A native New Yorker, Leonard Riggio founded the Barnes & Noble booksellers chain and has been a major patron of the Dia Art Foundation, with many millions given to the development and opening of the upstate-New York destination Dia:Beacon in 2003. He and his wife Louise have a formidable collection of American art, which includes landmark works by Roy Lichtenstein, Ed Ruscha, Donald Judd, Chuck Close, Richard Serra, and Walter De Maria, as well as a wealth of work from Arte Povera and other movements. Following the announcement of his retirement from the Barnes & Noble 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 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. That’s kind of my passion.”
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