Against the grandiose backdrop of Venice’s canals and palazzos, Montblanc celebrated the 25th anniversary of the Montblanc de la Culture Arts Patronage Award, the visionary award that has been recognizing the work and contributions of modern day art patrons since 1992.


Giorgio Marconi, recipient of the 2016 Award for Italy was honoured at a ceremony held on the roof of the Peggy Guggenheim Collection in recognition for his work with the Marconi Foundation for Contemporary and Modern Art, a non-profit institution for the promotion and diffusion of contemporary art and culture. New Montblanc Cultural Foundation Co-Chairmen Till Fellrath and Sam Bardaouil joined Montblanc CEO Jérôme Lambert to present the honouree with a Patron of Art Peggy Guggenheim limited edition fountain pen encased in a trophy, and 15,000 euros to be donated to a cultural project of Marconi’s choice. Over 130 selected guests attended the intimate Dinner including Socialite Chloe Delevingne, designer Jasmine Guinness, actress Camilla Rutherford with Dominic Barker and actor Jack Guinness.


The Italy ceremony marks the kick off of the 25th anniversary of the award with further ceremonies hosted in 15 countries around the world over the coming months. Each winner is selected by an international jury of art influencers, a network of the world’s most creative individuals brought together by the Montblanc Cultural Foundation to evaluate the candidates based on their history of personal commitment to the arts, and a concern that the wider public should benefit from cultural projects.

Montblanc Arts Patronage Award 25th AnniversaryKirill Serebrennikov
Montblanc Arts Patronage Award 25th AnniversaryJack Guinness

Besides Former Jury and participants of the awards attended the event including Xiaohui Wang and Zhong Shao from China as well as this year’s jury members Kirill Serebrennikov and Dimitri Ozerkov from Russia, Dimitris Tsitouras from Greece and previous Italian winners Umberta Beretta, Patrizia Sandretto and Francesca Coin.


The cocktail party was held on the roof of the Peggy Guggenheim Collection at the 18th century Palazzo Venier dei Leoni on the Grand Canal, once inhabited by the great patron of art Peggy Guggenheim and now home to her significant collection of modern art. Overlooking the canals, guests had the chance to enjoy a calligraphy live performance by French Star-Calligrapher Nicolas Ouchenir and discovered the latest Patron of Art Edition, a collection of limited edition writing instruments dedicated to Peggy Guggenheim, a champion of art and one of the great collectors of her time.


Following the cocktail, an intimate seated dinner was hosted just moments away along the Grand Canal at the Palazzo Polignac, a masterpiece of Renaissance architecture with its remarkable stone and marble facade. Inside the candlelit rooms of the historic palace, Montblanc had brought together each of the 25 Patron of Art Edition writing instruments that had been created every year since 1992 to honour historic patrons of art.

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“We are very excited to host the first of the 16 international award ceremonies here in Venice, being a city of particular significance for the arts, culture and architecture with a flourishing artistic community since many centuries,” said Montblanc CEO Jérôme Lambert. “Furthermore, Venice became the home of Peggy Guggenheim, one of the great patrons of the 20th century, a pioneering woman who understood the cultural importance of nurturing creative talent just like the outstanding patrons we will be honouring around the world this year.”


Giorgio Marconi joins a prestigious list of honourees who have been presented with the award including Robert Wilson, Quincy Jones, Renzo Piano and Yoyo Maeght. Every year since 1992, the prestigious Montblanc de la Culture Arts Patronage Award has recognized the outstanding achievements and important contributions of modern day patrons, reinforcing today’s importance of patronage in making arts and culture accessible to broader audiences.


Photo: Courtesy of Montblanc