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In the Driver's Seat

Ginerva Elkann shapes her famous family’s museum.

Appeared In
Special Issue
WWD Scoop issue 11/24/2008
Coming up next, a collection of Iranian contemporary art. At the opening in October, Bischofberger praised the inquisitive nature of Elkann: “When she doesn’t know, she asks questions, and she is always interested in so many different things.”

The Pinacoteca, located on the rooftop of Lingotto, Fiat’s former car manufacturing plant, was inaugurated six years ago after renovations by famed architect Renzo Piano. The space is named after Elkann’s grandfather, the late Fiat chairman Gianni Agnelli, who, along with his wife, Marella, donated pieces from their art collection to the gallery, including scenes of Venice by Canaletto; masterpieces by Henri Matisse; portraits by Edouard Manet, Pierre-Auguste Renoir and Amedeo Modigliani; futuristic and abstract canvases by Gino Severini and Giacomo Balla, and two Picassos. A new, high-tech reference and research center will open next year.

“I like to think that the Pinacoteca opens up new worlds,” says Elkann, who is based in London and Turin and indulges her natural curiosity traveling extensively around the world. Recent trips include visits to Syria and Lebanon, in addition to Iran, for her film and for the theme of her next exhibition.

And, while her destinations aren’t exactly fashion-forward, Elkann still has a penchant for clothing— Dries Van Noten and Alberta Ferretti, in particular. Elkann, who is usually press-shy, is a regular guest at Ferretti’s runway shows. “Attending a fashion show  is not different from being behind the scenes of a movie—with similar dynamics and the same amount of stress,” Elkann says. “In the end, you tell a story, whether you are painting or directing a movie.”


NEXT: "The Art of War" >>

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