Having settled in Morocco for the past twenty years, Lucien Viola is an art historian, who graduated from the prestigious Institute of Fine Arts, N.Y.U. He was taught by Bill Rubin (MOMA’s then curator in chief), Bernard Bothmer (curator in chief and chairman of the department of Ancient Art at the Brooklyn Museum) and Richard Ettinghausen (curator in chief of Islamic art at the Metropolitan Museum of Art) and specialized in ancient Egyptian and contemporary art. Lucien Viola is a leading antiquities dealer, and collector by family tradition.
In New York, from the 70’s - 90’s, he owned the ancient art gallery L’Ibis Gallery Ltd.
In Marrakech, from the 90’s, he collects moroccan art in view of opening an art museum of ancient moroccan art through a foundation, Fondation Ré. The museum will be a non-profit organization project that has already started and is supported by art patrons that are interested in a Moroccan cultural art identity.
Lucien Viola has done pioneering research work, in situ, in rural villages, on the symbolism of various Berber weavings, emphasizing the importance of these long time ignored masterpieces, through his personal international exhibitions, publications, contributions to other museums and fondations such as with the show at the Fondation Pierre Bergé-Yves Saint Laurent "Les Femmes Berbères du Maroc" from March 21, to july 20, 2014 in Paris and to the National Museum of Bahrein from january 15, to april 17, 2015 in Manama. At the moment a new exhibition entitled "Art Berbère, Regards sur une collection" has opened on september 18, to november 30, 2015 at Espace 251 Nord, in Liège, Belgium. The focus of this exhibition is not only the textiles collection but also on Berber wodden architectural pieces.
Lucien Viola is an active member of the Appraiser’s Association of America the A.A.A., The "Société Française d’Egyptologie" and of the S.N.A.