ANN Mar 13, 2023

Masterclass: European Collectors as Patrons (Palermo, 28-30 Jun 23)

Palazzo Butera, Via Butera, 8, 90133 Palermo PA / MAMA - Master in Arts Management - SDA Bocconi School of Management, Jun 28–30, 2023
Deadline: Apr 30, 2023

Palazzo Butera

"European Collectors as Patrons" is a three-day masterclass on how patronage supports and defends artistic and cultural activity.
Bertrand du Vignaud and Claudio Gulli will outline how over the last three centuries a range of historical and current European patrons have advocated for art and culture by building their own private collections. These little-known individuals have contributed both to social progress and urban development. Examples used include the Roman Cardinals Alessandro Albani and Pietro Ottoboni. Also English amateur-architects Lord Burlington and Sir John Soane, and the Spanish Count Alexandre Aguado. From more recent history, we can include Harry Kessler, Vittorio Cini and Calouste Gulbenkian.

Professors Andrea Rurale and Piergiacomo Mion, of the SDA Bocconi School of Management, will discuss the economic longevity and long term impact achieved by these enterprises.
During these three days lectures will take place at Palazzo Butera, and visits across the city will include well known and lesser known places .
In the evening private dinners have been arranged in historic houses and other places of significant cultural importance. The dinners are designed as an integral part of the masterclass allowing for a greater depth of understanding. They also offer time for discussion and reflection on the days’ experiences and learning.

The use of Palazzo Butera as host to this masterclass is intentional as it represents a fine example of the sort of enlightened patronage being discussed. This eighteenth-century sea- front palace, once the home of the Branciforti family, was purchased by Francesca and Massimo Valsecchi in 2016. The new owners privately undertook a complete restoration of the building and have transferred their art collection to the Palazzo.
Since the 60’s the Valsecchi’s collecting has been guided by a fascination in cultural exchanges and the cross-pollination of ideas. Assembled quietly over decades of intense research, the collection opened to the public in the Spring of 2021.
The main works in the collection arrived in Palermo after long-term loans to the Fitzwilliam Museum in Cambridge and the Ashmolean Museum in Oxford (2016-2020).

The classes will be held in English.
Course costs excluding dinners, costs €350; including dinners the cost is €700. It is possible to get a grant that will cover euro350 : applicants will be selected by Bertrand du Vignaud and Claudio Gulli. Lunch is included in the price, except on 29th June where lunch is taking place at Villa Tasca.
Registration is open to anybody, there is no age limit and an educational qualification isn’t a requirement. To register please send an email to For those who wish to apply for a grant, please include your CV and a personal statement.

We do also advise you should stay in Palermo if possible, some days prior to or after the course,so as to visit the city's main points of interest.

Wednesday 28th June
Palazzo Butera
10-11.30: Visit to the Francesca and Massimo Valsecchi collection
12-13: Meet with Francesca and Massimo Valsecchi
15-17: Lecture: European collectors as patrons, Bertrand du Vignaud, Claudio Gulli I
18.30: Visit to the Chiaramonte Bordonaro collection. Followed by dinner at Villa Chiaramonte Bordonaro (optional)

Thursday 29th June
10-13.30: Visit to Villa Tasca followed by lunch – transfer from Villa Tasca to Palazzo Butera is included in the registration fee
Palazzo Butera
15-16.30: Lecture: European collectors as patrons, Bertrand du Vignaud, Claudio Gulli II
19: Visit to Palazzo Mazzarino. Followed by dinner at Palazzo Mazzarino (optional)

Friday 30th June
Palazzo Butera
10-10.30: Lecture: Bertrand du Vignaud, Heritage at risk
11: Lecture: Andrea Rurale: Art Orientation VS Market Orientation.
12: Lecture: Piergiacomo Mion: A new model for Cultural Business. Key issues faced by art managers
15-16: The financing of restorations, museums and heritage. Attended by Bertrand du Vignaud, Claudio Gulli, Andrea Rurale, Piergiacomo Mion. Open to the public.
16.15-17.30: A walk through the Historical Center of Palermo: restored churches, churches to be restored, curated by Claudio Gulli
17.30-18: Gallery of Francesco Pantaleone
18.15: Meet with Alexandre Giquello and cocktail

ANN: Masterclass: European Collectors as Patrons (Palermo, 28-30 Jun 23). In:, Mar 13, 2023 (accessed Jul 18, 2024), <>.