Castello di Rivoli Acquires Francesco Federico Cerruti’s $570 Million Collection

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Interior of Francesco Federico Cerruti’s house in Rivoli, Turin. Photo: Gabriele Gaidano

Castello di Rivoli, the contemporary art museum housed in a newly renovated castle in Turin, announced that it has entered a special partnership with the Fondazine Francesco Federico Cerruti. The museum will absorb the roughly $570 million Cerruti Collection—comprising around three hundred paintings and sculptures as well as several hundred rare books, from the Middle Ages to the twentieth century—allowing it to become the first contemporary art institution to support an encyclopedic collection.

“We are transforming what a museum of contemporary art can be, creating a new model that turns the paradigm of museums on its head,” said Carolyn Christov-Bakargiev, director of the Castello di Rivoli. “Instead of a museum of the past adding a contemporary wing, we are a museum of today, looking at the art of the past from a contemporary perspective. We are offering artists and the broader public the opportunity to relate up-close to periods that came before.”

The Italian collector and recluse Francesco Federico Cerruti was born to a family of bookbinders in Turin who operated one of the first industrial book-binding companies in Italy. Cerruti began amassing his extraordinary collection in the 1950s, eventually building a villa to house his prized works, including pieces by Francis Bacon, Umberto Boccioni, Paul Cézanne, Marc Chagall, Max Ernst, Lucio Fontana, Francisco Goya, Wassily Kandinsky, Paul Klee, Franz Kline, Joan Miró, Amedeo Modigliani, Pablo Picasso, and Rembrandt van Rijn.

The Villa Cerruti, a five-minute walk from the Castello di Rivoli, will be renovated and is expected to open on January 2, 2019, marking the first time the public will have access to the collection. “The full scope of the Cerutti collection has always been a secret, but we can now see that his exceptional eye brought together an astonishing range of work of all periods, all of the highest quality,” Nicholas Serota said. “For the Castello, the proximity of this fine collection will provide inspiring histories and stimulating comparisons for the collection of Arte Povera and contemporary art.”