MAURICE AND PAUL MARCIANO ART FOUNDATION
ABOUT MARCIANO ART FOUNDATION AND THE PURPOSE BEHIND IT
The Marciano Art Foundation was established in 2017 by Paul and Maurice Marciano, two brothers with a mission to create a space for the community and beyond to discover and engage with contemporary art.
The Foundation showcases the Marciano’s personal art collection as well as a plethora of special projects inspired by their own collection.
The MAF collection contains works of art curated by well-established, mid-career and emerging artists, predominantly from the 1990s to present.
It has always been Paul and Maurice’s dream to share such forward-thinking and dynamic artwork with the city of Los Angeles – their home for the past 35 years – as well as with the rest of the world. By opening up their collection to the public, it is their hope that the public will be inspired to appreciate and engage in the transformative power of contemporary art.
The experimental approach MAF embraces, allows the foundation to continuously re-imagine itself with new developments we discover within the world of contemporary art.
Not only does the Foundation provide a venue to display the collection publicly, it also serves as a forum for artists to develop new concepts, installations, and exhibitions.
The Marciano brothers were raised in the south of France and came from a long line of rabbi’s family. The brothers started their career manufacturing ties by using leftover fabric and selling the product from store to store. After they saw a success in their business, the brothers decided to start manufacturing blouses that were made in one size, one color and one style. From there, Paul and Maurice moved from making blouses, to dresses and then hit their big break: jeans.
In 1973 Paul and Maurice opened up a clothing store called MGA, and in just a few years opened 26 MGA stores in France.
In 1977, the brothers took a trip to California. Their two week vacation turned into two months and eventually made the decision to move to Los Angeles and live the American dream.
After moving to L.A. in 1981, the brothers started GUESS?, Inc. A company ran by all four of the Marciano brothers including Paul, Maurice, Georges and Armand.
Their engagement with contemporary art began around the same time the GUESS company was born. The brothers started visiting galleries in auctions around the world in cities including Paris, New York and Los Angeles.
Early on they were drawn to the work of painters.
Maurice and Paul began to spend time with artists in their studio, to experience the joy of learning about art directly from the artists themselves creating it.
THE MAF BUILDING
The Marciano Art Foundation building is located in a historic urban neighborhood in Central Los Angeles, California, called Windsor Square.
The building was completed in 1961 and was originally a Scottish Rite Masonic Temple designed by Millard Sheets who was a painter and later an architectural designer. In the building there was a 2,000-seat auditorium where they hold performances for the degree since the upper degrees of Masonry were given in the form of elaborate plays with sumptuous costumes, wigs, and set design. Then there are four lodge rooms upstairs, where the various blue lodges meet to give the lower degrees.
There was also a huge dining room on the top floor that seats 1,500 people.
Albert Stewart designed the double-headed eagle, which was the symbol for the Scottish Rite and it was used in four spots on the temple.
In 1992, it housed the National Guard during the L.A. riots, then had to be abandoned in 1994, too expensive for the Masons to keep.
The building was sold in 2013 to the Marciano Art Foundation and was fully renovated by contemporary architect Kulapat Yantrasast which transformed it to a contemporary art space.
The building is grand with more than 110,000 square feet of space, over 4 floors. It gives the viewer a visceral experience and that feeling continues while walking into the lobby. The inside is impressing and making the viewer to really feel the whole experience. By giving each work its own space allows the viewer to really become immersed in the exhibition and immersed in the building.
In order to preserve Millard Sheets’ original architectural design by the Foundation, the unique and special structure of the building gives the viewers the opportunity to enjoy exhibitions in both traditional and unconventional exhibition spaces.
Another spectacular experience for the viewer is a 5,000-square-foot sculpture garden by the entrance that feature works from special artists.
In the building, besides the changing exhibitions in the gallery spaces, and the sculpture garden outside you will be able to find a bookstore, a café, an art storage and a big parking space.