Amalia Lacroze de Fortabat (left) and Amalia Amoedo de Lafuente (right).

Amalia Lacroze de Fortabat (left) and Amalia Amoedo de Lafuente (right).

Experiencias: Amalia Amoedo on Her Grandmother’s Art and Business Legacy

The Argentine collector remembers her grandmother’s lessons and shares some of her own.

In the fifth episode of Experiencias, philanthropist Amalia Amoedo de Lafuente reflects on the legacy of her late grandmother, Argentine executive and art collector Amalia “Amalita” Lacroze de Fortabat.

Lacroze de Fortabat, a socialite born in Argentina in 1921, took over her husband’s cement business in the 1970s, building it into a lucrative empire. She was one of those people who was “so out of the mold of where they grew up and the expectations that people had for them,” noted AS/COA President and CEO Susan Segal, describing her as a woman ahead of her time.

She also rubbed shoulders with presidents and leaders across the world, including a dance with former U.S. President Ronald Reagan. To all she was known tenderly as “Amalita.” Apart from her charm and intelligence, “She was always thinking about people who weren’t [as] lucky,” said Amoedo, and her grandmother’s philanthropic endeavors and corporate social responsibility endeared people to her. Those efforts also inspired Amoedo, who herself is president of a foundation that supplies equipment to a hospital in Buenos Aires.

One of Lacroze de Fortabat’s biggest passions was art, and she built up a private collection that eventually grew into an entire museum in Buenos Aires, chaired by her granddaughter. “I think her great legacy was to take care of our culture,” said Amoedo. She recalled how her grandmother introduced her to the world of artists and creativity, and taught her how to sit in front of a painting and observe it in its entirety.

Amoedo is now an artist with plans to start an artists’ residency in Argentina. “It’s important to find projects that make you happy,” said Amoedo, advice all the more relevant in these stressful times of the pandemic.

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This episode was produced by Luisa Leme, Sarah Bons, and Elizabeth Gonzalez. The music in this podcast was performed at Americas Society in New York. Learn more about concerts online at musicoftheamericas.org.

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