In 1991, Roberto Memmo Foundation inaugurated, realizing the dream of bringing the audience to the art world through the knowledge of the masterpieces of all and the most diverse civilizations.
The opening was celebrated with the exhibition Expressionism – Van Gogh, Klee, with an exhibition of masterpieces from the Thyssen-Bornemisza collection.
Since then, all the initiatives promoted in the exhibition spaces of Palazzo Ruspoli have succeeded with pace and ever-increasing importance, having considerable consensus of both the public and critics.
In the same year he held exhibitions The sign of Genius: one hundred drawings from Ashmolean Museum in Oxford, with the exhibition of the works are unique and of exceptional quality, various masters of Italian art and beyond – including Raphael , Michelangelo, Leonardo da Vinci and Dürer -; an exhibition of paintings by Lucien Freud and a double exposure coming from the Hermitage in St. Petersburg: the first dedicated to Canova with the wider body of the master’s sculptures, most of which were lent to the Fondazione Memmo and exposed to the first time in Italy, in Rome and Venice -; the second, also on show for the first time at Palazzo Ruspoli, the collection of pottery of the XVII and XVIII, created at the end of the eighteenth century in Venice by Abbot Philip Farsetti and later acquired by the Russian Museum.
In 1992 there was an exhibition of paintings by Caravaggio, curated by Mina Gregori, Michelangelo Merisi da Caravaggio: as the masterpieces are born and, thanks to the close synergy and cooperation with the Ministry for Cultural Heritage, they were introduced to the famous marble of the Ludovisi collection : examples of Greek and Roman and restored by the great Baroque, Bernini and Algardi.
In the same period, in the lower level of the Foundation, called gallery Caetani, they were held an exhibition of watercolors from the collection Chigi, in part from the Frick Collection in New York, one of the design sketches by Franco Zeffirelli and one on the drawings of Paul Portuguese dedicated to Mosque of Rome.
In 1994, the exhibition Neferatari, Light of Egypt, was an opportunity to celebrate a double event: the discovery of the tomb of Nefertari in the Valley of the Queens and the conclusion of the work of recovery and conservation of the wall paintings found in it, made thanks the contribution of the Getty Conservation Institute.
The lucky visitors (about half a million people) could see the tomb of Nefertari, in its entirety, through virtual reality, considered at the time one of the most advanced technologies and still unknown to the public.
The show was ranked first in Italy for the number of visitors and in seventh place in the world ranking, only preceded by exhibitions of Claude Monet, Constantin Brancusi, Paul Cézanne, James McNeil Whistler and Piet Mondrian.
After feeling the success of the exhibition of Nefertari, the Memmo Foundation continued in its exhibition with Alexander the Great: History and Myth and Macedonians, the Greeks of the North; during which an attempt was made to outline the path of the Macedonian people, the nomadic life until the beginning of the ‘era of Alexander the Great who spread Greek culture to the shores of India.
In 1996 it was organized the Altar of Pergamon. The frieze of Telephus – whose restoration was partly funded by Roberto Memmo, – and the Via Appia. On the ruins of the ancient magnificence.
Thanks to the cooperation between the Memmo Foundation and the British Museum had also place Fayum. Mysterious faces of Egypt, one of the most important and exclusive representative exhibitions ever made at the time of mummy portraits from Roman times.
The delight of those masterpieces of great psychological intensity and realism contributed fundamentally to call on the Foundation’s interest in the Italian and foreign press.
Roberto Memmo concentrated his efforts in the following year to pay tribute to my good friend Sir Denis Mahon giving the opportunity to admire his valuable collection of paintings, gathered in its entirety; possibility that turned into great privilege since, returned to England, this collection has never been more fully exposed.
2000, the year of Jubilee, he was honored with an exhibition on the treasures of medieval Catalan from the Museum of Art of Catalonia.
The exhibition on Yemen, the country of the Queen of Sheba, met with great success and great interest. It was later inaugurated a retrospective of Cleopatra, in collaboration with the British Museum. Both specifications of these two exhibitions were treated by the master Ezio Frigerio.
In the years they following intensified greatly the relationship between the foundation and the Spanish institutions: in 2001, the exhibition Velazquez; strongly encouraged by HRH King Juan Carlos I of Spain.
After Velazquez was again leading the Thyssen Bornemiza with an exhibition of paintings from the Baroness Carmen with works by Monet, Van Gogh, Gauguin, Toulouse-Lautrec, Matisse and Kandinsky. The lodging ‘Spanish’ ended with the exhibition The Borgias, the art of power.
Nell ‘in October 2003, in the presence of LL. AA. RR. King Carl XVI Gustaf and Queen Silvia, was inaugurated the exhibition Christina of Sweden.
Great organizational commitment also demanded exhibitions Treasures of the Aztecs, in collaboration with the Museum of Anthropology in Mexico City; The pomp Prince – The Dresden Court 1580-1620 and finally, Jean-Michel Basquiat’s “Ghosts of chase” conceived in collaboration with the Foundation Mercelino Botín of Santander.
Following were organized a series of exhibitions dedicated to private collections; events that allowed to see works that are not accessible; among them Paul Klee; The Berggruen collection; From Cranach to Monet; Masterpieces from the Pérez Simón Collection; masterpieces that come back. The paintings in the collection of the Banca Popolare di Vicenza.
By virtue of the link between family Memmo with the Principality of Monaco, the Foundation has had the honor and privilege to present the preview the collections of the Museum of Monaco and the retrospective Years of Grace Kelly. Princess of Monaco.
Intense collaboration with the state actually emerge exhibitions where the Memmo Foundation hosted masterpieces from the immense artistic heritage of the Fund places of worship of the Ministry of the Interior and other Flemish masters; Old frames; and the Caravaggeschi.
The foundation Memmo, was thus born to make real the dream of its founder, Roberto Memmo, whose generous and demanding work made it possible to create an intense cultural activity aimed at bringing the world of art to the general public.
The commitment of Roberto Memmo is a gesture of love for the dissemination of knowledge; I love she shares with her two daughters, Daniela Memmo Memmo d’Amelio and Patrizia Ruspoli, both involved in the footsteps and carry on the work of his father.
The exhibitions organized by them were visited by more than 3 million visitors.