Reggio Emilia, Italy
The Maramotti Family, which owns the Italian fashion company Max Mara, has been collecting contemporary art since the 1960s, when Achille Maramotti bought an Alberto Burri painting. “It was one of the first private collections of contemporary art in Italy,” Marina Dacci, the director of Collezione Maramotti, told Forbes in 2016. “It’s a special kind of collection with a strong personality.” Alberto Maramotti passed away in 2005 at the age of 78, but the collection can be seen in Reggio Emilia, Italy, at the Collezione Maramotti (a renovated industrial building that was once home to a Max Mara factories). There, important works by artists belonging to myriad movements—Art Informel, Arte Povera, Transavanguardia, Neo-Expressionism, and New Geometry—are on view to the public.
The collection boasts some of the greatest names in the Italian postwar art canon: Lucio Fontana, Jannis Kounellis, Michelangelo Pistoletto, Mario Merz, and Pier Paolo Calzolari. Some of these individuals Maramotti considered personal friends, such as Claudio Parmiggiani, whose 1989 sculpture Caspar David Friedrich, a life-sized canoe sporting three canvases for sails, is suspended from the ceiling. Visitors to the collection are greeted by Arturo Martini’s Il Sogno I (1927), a bronze-cast relief of a sleeping woman. Interestingly, the family’s belief is that it is important that their collection be thought of as a whole, so they prefer not to discuss independent works. Family members are also active as arts patrons. Nicola Maramotti—the daughter-in-law of Achille—funds the Max Mara Art Prize for Women, which is given biannually to an artist selected by the Whitechapel Gallery in London.