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Arts + Culture

Magazzino Italian Art is Upstate New York’s new great art escape

If you're ever looking for the perfect art-focused day trip, check out Magazzino Italian Art. The new warehouse space in Cold Spring (NY) opened last June, joining the ranks of Mass Moca, Storm King art center and Dia Beacon in the Hudson River Valley. Devoted to Post-war and Contemporary Italian Art, the museum houses works sourced by Giorgio Spanu and Nancy Olnick, who own one of America's largest collections of Arte Povera--a contemporary art movement that took place between the end of the 1960s and the beginning of the 1970s in major cities throughout Italy. Jetsetter recently caught up with the duo to discuss their passion for Italian art and mission behind the Magazzino project.

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1) How did you come up with the idea to open an art space dedicated to Post-war and Contemporary Italian art? What drew you to Arte Povera?

In the 1990s, we visited Castello di Rivoli, a modern art museum in Rivoli, Italy dedicated to Arte Povera, and fell in love. We studied the movement in depth and decided that the focus of our research would be Italian art. The only problem in collecting Arte Povera was that many of the works were large-scale installations and impossible to have in a house with glass walls like ours. The next step was, naturally, to look for an adequate space to exhibit them, which led to the birth of Magazzino.

2) Why in Cold Spring?

We’ve been residents of Garrison, NY for more than 25 years now, so Cold Spring was a natural choice for us. The Hudson Valley, in general, has become a big artistic and historical destination in the US —just think about the United States Military Academy at West Point and the Hudson River School of Painting.

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3) What piece are you most excited about at the museum?

Amore e Psiche by Giulio Paolini. We fell hard when we first saw it on our visit to Castello di Rivoli. So it was incredible to have the opportunity to buy it when it became available on the market a few years later.

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6) So tell me about the Magazzino library?

We want Magazzino to be a research facility for anyone interested in studying Italian Art. It’s a huge project–we’re currently cataloguing more than 5,000 books and archival materials, which will also be made available online. Hopefully, we’ll have it done by 2018!

7) What are your dreams for Magazzino?

We really want people to love Italian postwar and contemporary art as much as we do. Whether you’re a scholar, researcher, artist, or student, the museum has a place for you. And supporting the Hudson Valley community is important to us, too. There’s so much going on here, from innovative restaurants to top-notch art institutions. It’s the perfect place to escape the city.