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Displaying items by tag: estates

Did Otto Hermann Kahn, a banker, financier and arts patron, have a rival Long Island estate on his mind as he built his own palatial house, Oheka, in Huntington in 1917?

There’s no written evidence of that, said Joshua Ruff, chief curator of the Long Island Museum of American Art, History and Carriages in Stony Brook, where he has organized the exhibition “Gilding the Coasts: Art and Design of Long Island’s Great Estates.”

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The Lombardy region of northern Italy is known for its many “villas of delight” — the “ville di delizia” that aristocratic Milanese families built in the 17th and 18th centuries as summer escapes and settings for lavish entertainments. Varese, in the foothills of the Alps, was a magnet for these estates, several of which are clustered on the parklike hill of Biumo Superiore. At its crest sits the Villa Menafoglio Litta Panza, the most storied, thanks to its longtime owner, Giuseppe Panza di Biumo, the Milanese businessman whose adventurous tastes and ardent appetites made him one of the most important art collectors of the last century.

“It’s not bad,” admitted his daughter, Maria Giuseppina Panza di Biumo, a smile escaping her lips as our eyes swept across eight acres of topiary and fountains.

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