In a commendable move, former trader Christian Levett metamorphoses his southern France museum into a haven for art crafted by women artists.
Museum’s Exciting Transformation
Christian Levett, once engrossed in the world of commodities trading, is no stranger to the art universe. His Mougins Museum of Classical Art, nestled in the picturesque southern France, has regaled patrons since 2011. But change is in the air. The museum is set to close its classical art chapter on 31 August 2023. Its grand reopening is slated for spring 2024, parading a fresh focus on Modern and contemporary art.
Shifting Spotlight to Women Artists
Why this sudden transition, one might wonder? The vision is crystal clear. Levett intends to introduce Europe to its first museum exclusively dedicated to art by women. An impressive lineup awaits, with pieces from his collection by talents like Joan Mitchell, Lee Krasner, Elaine de Kooning, Howardena Pindell, Cecily Brown, and Nancy Graves, among others.
Levett’s Artistic Journey
Mr. Levett’s connection with art is profound. Reflecting on his past, the first piece he acquired was a 1600s fire scene depiction by Dutch maestro Egbert van de Poele, costing him a neat 100,000 French francs in 1995. From then on, it was no looking back. With over 3,000 acquisitions spanning a quarter of a century, Levett’s discerning eye fashioned a notable assortment of classical antiquities and contemporary wonders, including pieces by Damien Hirst and Marc Quinn.
Changing Times, Changing Collections
The world came to a standstill during the pandemic. Yet, for Levett, it became a period of introspection and reshaping his art collection. His focus pivoted towards female Abstract Expressionism, diving deep into the era and even spotlighting lesser-known artists. This newfound appreciation wasn’t just for his eyes only. Many of these masterpieces found their way to prominent exhibits, like the “Action, Gesture, Paint: Women Artists and Global Abstraction 1940-1970” showcase at the Whitechapel Gallery in London.
Beyond the Museum Walls
Levett’s passion for art isn’t confined to his museum alone. From supporting UK artists like Flora Yukhnovich and Daniel Crews-Chubb at the Ashmolean Museum in Oxford to nurturing talent at the Vigo Gallery in London, his influence is undeniable. And let’s not forget his Florentine home in Italy. A unique feature? Every artwork adorning the walls is by a female artist.