Meet the Collectors Who Just Acquired the Copyrights to M.C. Escher’s Work

Salvatore Iaquinta and Federico Giudiceandrea are also the new owners of the M.C. Escher Company.

M.C Escher, Relativity (1953). ©The M.C. Escher Company, The Netherlands; courtesy of Michael S. Sachs.

M.C. Escher’s copyrights have been acquired by a Californian doctor and an Italian engineer, long-time admirers and collectors of the Dutch artist’s works.

Salvatore Iaquinta and Federico Giudiceandrea have acquired the intellectual property rights to the artist’s work, as well as ownership of the M.C. Escher Company in The Netherlands, they announced in an emailed news release. The duo now has big plans to promote Escher’s art.

Iaquinta is a chief surgeon at Kaiser Permanente in San Rafael, but his love for Escher started as a student at the University of Wisconsin in Madison where he saw his first Escher exhibition in 1992. Giudiceandrea, from the town of Bressanone in northern Italy, is the founder and president of Microtec—a company that develops industrial electronic measurement and control systems for processing natural products such as wood and food. He has previously penned at least one scholarly article about Escher, published in the Journal for Geometry and Graphics.

Maurits Cornelis Escher, a printmaker and graphic artist active in the early 20th century, is best known for his impossible designs—inspired by mathematics, optical illusions and paradoxes—as well as tessellations, or repeated geometric shapes. Because of this, he has become a beloved artist for engineers like Giudiceandrea and Iaquinta, a hobbyist 3D puzzle-maker. Giudiceandrea’s 2021 article also discussed Escher’s hexagonal tiling.

“Initially, Escher was appreciated by mathematicians and crystallographers, and then hippies, who illegally created blacklight posters,” the pair wrote in their news release. “Over the years, Escher won over the general public… That said, he did twice decline… to design an album cover [for Mick Jagger].”

Iaquinta has been collecting Escher’s designs for two decades and started an online gallery in 2007 with information about the artist. The gallery is still functional, emphasizing that it only buys and sells “M.C. Escher original artwork.” The surgeon has also curated museum catalogs about the artist and organized loans. He became a board member of the M.C. Escher Foundation last year.

“In continuity with the previous management, the new owners aim to make M.C. Escher’s work accessible to an ever-wider public,” the news release reads.

In addition to Escher’s copyrights, the acquisition also includes a collection of Escher’s personal letters and other documents, some of which are currently displayed as part of a large exhibition at the Palazzo Bonaparte in Rome. The show was curated by Giudiceandrea and Mark Veldhuysen, the current director of M.C. Escher Company, and is on view through April 1, 2024.

Another exhibition is on view at the Vero Beach Museum of Art through December 30 with three more being planned for Japan, the first of which will open at the Sagawa Art Museum in Shiga on December 14.

 

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