Peter Palumbo, Baron Palumbo
Peter Garth Palumbo, Baron Palumbo (born 20 July 1935) is a property developer, art collector, former chairman of the Arts Council of Great Britain and architecture connoisseur and has been created a Life Peer.
Lord Palumbo is the son of Rudolph Palumbo and his wife Elsie Gregory. He went to Scaitcliffe in Englefield Green, Surrey then Eton College and studied law and jurisprudence at Worcester College, Oxford, where he received an M.A.. He married Denia Wigram in 1959 — together they had one son, and two daughters. They divorced in 1977. After Wigram died in 1986, he married Hayat Morowa (daughter of the Lebanese newspaper publisher Kamel Morowa) with whom he had another son and two daughters.
- Notable property projects and homes
In 1972 he bought Farnsworth House in the U.S.A. designed by Mies van der Rohe, to which Palumbo added the designer's furniture. He also expanded the grounds of the house by purchasing adjacent properties and placed in them the work of noted sculptors including Anthony Caro and Richard Serra. Palumbo sold the property to the National Trust for Historic Preservation, in 2003. Palumbo also owns Kentuck Knob, a private house built by Frank Lloyd Wright in the Allegheny Mountains south of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, and for a time owned Le Corbusier's Maisons Jaoul in Neuilly-sur-Seine, Paris.
Palumbo was a trustee of the Tate Gallery from 1978 until 1985 and chairman of the gallery's foundation between 1986 and 1987. He formerly served as a trustee for the Whitechapel Art Gallery and of the Natural History Museum. He is chairman of the Serpentine Gallery's board of trustees. Margaret Thatcher appointed him chairman of the Arts Council of Great Britain from 1988 until 1994. That same year Palumbo demolished the Mappin & Webb building in the city of London and replaced it at No 1 Poultry, with a building designed by the British architect, Sir James Stirling, which was opened by the Governor of the Bank of England, Eddie George. He was also the former chancellor of the University of Portsmouth and the chairman of the Friends of Highgate Cemetery. He has been on the Board of Trustees of The Architecture Foundation. Palumbo is currently chairman of the jury of the pretigious Pritzker Prize for Architecture.
Palumbo led the fundraising effort to resurrect and refurbish the Church of St Stephen Walbrook in London, a building by Sir Christopher Wren which had been badly damaged during The Blitz (in World War II) — the sculptor Henry Moore was commissioned by Palumbo to build a stone altar for the church. The former rector of St Stephen Walbrook and founder of The Samaritans, Dr Chad Varah, was also the family chaplain.
He was created a life peer by Margaret Thatcher on 4 February 1991 as Baron Palumbo, of Walbrook in the City of London, after the ward and street named after a former river and which is in the name of his redesigned church.
Palumbo was a polo teammate of Prince Charles and the two were close until 1984 when the Prince publicly criticised Palumbo's plans by Mies van der Rohe near St Paul's Cathedral that Charles described as "a glass stump", which faced with opposition were not realised. In 1988, Palumbo became godfather to Princess Beatrice of York, the eldest daughter of the Duke of York.
The Lord Rees-Mogg
|Chair of the Arts Council of Great Britain
The Earl of Gowrie