The Memmo Foundation was founded in 1992 to make the dream of its founder, Roberto Memmo, come true to bring the general public closer to the world of art through the direct knowledge of masterpieces of all times and of the most varied civilizations. The Memmo - Contemporary Art Foundation came to life in 2012, thanks to the initiative of Fabiana Marenghi Vaselli Bond and Anna d’Amelio Carbone and presents a new exhibition program entirely dedicated to the contemporary art scene.
The intent is to contribute to the development of the cultural fabric in the area, connecting to international realities, opening a dialogue with other institutions and promoting the interaction between artists and the city of Rome. Through the organization and production of exhibitions, performances, residences, talks, educational workshops and publications, the Memmo Foundation wishes to promote the present, as a permanent observatory dedicated to contemporary life, to contribute to the development of our future.
In 1990 Roberto Memmo, always interested in ancient art in all forms of expression, decided to set up a private Foundation, to take on the role of President assisted by three vice-presidents, Daniela Memmo d'Amelio, Patrizia Memmo Ruspoli and Claudio Strinati, then Superintendent of Cultural Heritage. His passion for beauty and the importance of its diffusion led him to want to share the creativity of the great masters with a large audience by contemplating works essential to the history of art. There were few active museums at the time, but the historical moment was favorable to the birth of new public and private spaces in various Italian cities with which the Memmo Foundation collaborated over the years.
The exhibitions of high cultural level, promoted by the Foundation in the large exhibition space on the floor of Palazzo Ruspoli, were possible thanks to the President's desire to co-produce them with the most important museums in the world such as the Getty Museum in Los Angeles, the British Miseum of London or the Egyptian Museum of Cairo and to avail of the collaboration of the most prestigious curators such as Morris Bierbrier, Christopher White, Catherine Whistler, Sir Denis Mahon, Felipe Garin Llombart.
So here in 1991 the inauguration exhibition Expressionism-From Van Gogh to Klee created with the Thyssen-Bornemisza Foundation in Lugano, followed by The Sign of the Genius: one hundred drawings from the Ashmolean Museum in Oxford, with extraordinary drawings by Italian and foreign masters, including Raphael, Michelangelo, Leonardo da Vinci, Dürer and da Canova at the Hermitage; Nefertari - Luce d'Egitto (1994) exhibition which, for the first time, allowed visitors to admire the tomb of the Egyptian queen via virtual reality; Alexander the Great: history and myth (1995); Fayum - Mysterious faces from Egypt (1996); Cleopatra (2000); Velazquez - His third trip to Italy (2001) made possible by the generous and extraordinary loans from the Prado Museum in Madrid; Cristina of Sweden. The Royal Collections (2003); I Tesori degli Atzechi (2004), up to Picasso and his time, Paul Klee, Jean-Michel Basquiat (2008). Finally, do not forget the first exhibition in Italy by Lucian Freud (1991) which demonstrated the foresight of the President of the Foundation.
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