It is also home to 16 miniature Sardinian donkeys that serve as a kind of mascot, most with Italian names that begin with “D” for donkey: Dino, Donatella. Mr. Calabrese noted that the donkeys are the best way to get children on a museum visit to behave. The donkeys enjoy an exalted existence, nuzzling with each other, getting cooed at by visitors and eating hay from a sculpture by Namsal Siedlecki called “Trevis Maponos,” forged from coins tossed into the Trevi Fountain in Rome.
Still, Mr. Calabrese wanted Magazzino to be seen as more than just striking architecture and friendly donkeys. “Our big challenge,” he said, “is changing the image of Italy.”
As the band played modern folk songs, accompanied by saxophones and accordions, the setting sun bounced sharp angles on the concrete walls. Ms. Olnick, Mr. Spanu and Mr. Calabrese sat in the front row, rapt.
Even though the foundation has been open for four years (minus a pandemic lockdown), it seems as if its reputation as a chic day trip from the city (it offers a free shuttle from the Cold Spring train station) was just starting to coalesce.
Soon they will break ground on a new pavilion with room for another gallery and a cafe. Magazzino is surrounded by orchards with lemons and apples and a mix of Mediterranean and local flora.
“People request to get married here once every week,” Mr. Calabrese said.