The Art Foundation

    The Art Foundation is one of the possible steps after the consolidated formation of a collection.

    Find out why, the types and the excellent examples…

    Art foundations are non-profit institutions, which must have their own assets, necessary for foundational purposes, becoming an independent legal entity managed by its own board of directors.

    The aspect that distinguishes an art foundation is the public fruition of a private good, which represents the will of an extraordinarily passionate person.

    The statute of the foundation dictates the general guidelines and rules for respecting the founders’ wishes and they cannot be changed over time.

    There are different kinds of foundations:

    • Business foundation: formed by one or more Italian or foreign companies, public or private, in order to promote the social responsibility policies of certain companies. Good examples may be the Fondazione Pirelli or the Fondazione Prada.

    • Family foundation: established by the will of one or more people linked by family ties in order to preserve and give continuity to a part of the family heritage to be used for social and solidarity purposes. Among the best known in Italy the Sandretto Re Rebaudengo Foundation.
    • Participation foundation: it is an atypical legal entity that contains some elements of the foundation and association. The participation foundation is made up of several subjects, public and private, who share the same purposes. An example is FondArc, the Fondazione di Partecipazione Arte & Cultura of Velletri.

    In Italy there are other types of foundation, such as banking or still dedicated to the figure of artists such as the Lucio Fontana Foundation. In addition, many are created to make the management of important museums or entire museum centers more efficient – think of the Venice Civic Museums Foundation.

    In addition to carrying out an important activity in the field of fruition and cultural dissemination – through exhibitions and mediation initiatives with the general public, the art foundation is in support of the arts, organizing initiatives such as calls for artists, art residences, courses training or educational workshops.

    This is demonstrated by the recent study “The private organizations of contemporary art in Italy. Roles, functions, activities “, carried out on the joint initiative of the Contemporary Art Foundations Committee, the Civita Association and Intesa Sanpaolo. In fact, the report states that the main mission of the Italian foundations for art consists on the one hand, in the active involvement of the public, through the exhibition programming and the Public programs; on the other, in supporting artistic production, in particular youth.

    The report also reveals that the majority of private institutions supporting art (mainly represented by foundations, 62% of the total sample) are located in the Northwest regions, mainly in Lombardy and Piedmont, where they were established after the 2000, with frequency peaks between 2008 and 2014. Modeled on the museum rather than on the gallery – 4 out of 10 foundations have a permanent collection accessible to the public and 9 out of 10 develop a programming linked to temporary exhibitions.

    The foundation, therefore, represents the fulcrum of an ecosystem, made by private individuals, truly vital for the enhancement of the art of our country, proposing, among other things, new business models, increasingly oriented towards the development of digital, in order to keep its audience updated and loyal.

    And you, are you ready to discover the foundations of art?


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