In 1919, the Royal House of Savoy’s Residences, together with their furnishings, turned to the Italian State. In Milan, the Royal Palace looked like a perfect location for a new museum devoted to the decorative arts, celebrating a glorious Italian Past for encouraging new industrial production. This paper deals with the events related to its unsuccessful story, serving to outline a broader depiction of its cultural context, together with the debate on museum’s arrangements in the first decades of the 20th century. Being identified as the ideal location for artworks’ display, the Royal Palace became home for the new museum. The opulent atmosphere of the apartments of honor was enhanced by the eclectic variety of art objects exhibited, including a combination of paintings, sculptures, and artworks dating back to Napoleon’s time up to the present. Display strategies offered a model of individual aesthetic experience, celebrating the Savoy’s family leading role and its relics sourced from royal villas in Milan and Monza, within a broader perspective and in connection with Italian artistic manufactures. In the footstep of the German period-based arrangements at the beginning of the 20th century, contextualization of artworks could improve their understanding, appealing to the general public well beyond art experts and designers. Finally, a few rooms broke this criterion for an arrangement with the display of some theatrical collections and the celebrated Maggiolini’s Lombard furniture according to a traditionally taxonomical layout. While criticizing some artworks’ mediocrity, influential journalist and art critic Margherita Sarfatti concluded that the Museum of decorative arts in Milano did not truly exist, claiming further purchases for increasing decorative arts heritage. Newspaper headlines and archival documents suggest some clues for this overall failure: first, the overlapping of different levels of governance in the project’s management, then the inadequacy of some of the exhibition spaces, and finally, the management mishaps of some museum’s rooms being used as a social venue. Moreover, political changes (see the rise of Fascism) and social practice of tastes rejecting the concept of palace and pursuing new paradigms for museums (converging in the debate at the 1934 International Conference of Madrid) propelled the museum’s end.

Il Museo che non fu mai. Milano e il mancato progetto museale dedicato alle arti decorative

Cordera
2021

Abstract

In 1919, the Royal House of Savoy’s Residences, together with their furnishings, turned to the Italian State. In Milan, the Royal Palace looked like a perfect location for a new museum devoted to the decorative arts, celebrating a glorious Italian Past for encouraging new industrial production. This paper deals with the events related to its unsuccessful story, serving to outline a broader depiction of its cultural context, together with the debate on museum’s arrangements in the first decades of the 20th century. Being identified as the ideal location for artworks’ display, the Royal Palace became home for the new museum. The opulent atmosphere of the apartments of honor was enhanced by the eclectic variety of art objects exhibited, including a combination of paintings, sculptures, and artworks dating back to Napoleon’s time up to the present. Display strategies offered a model of individual aesthetic experience, celebrating the Savoy’s family leading role and its relics sourced from royal villas in Milan and Monza, within a broader perspective and in connection with Italian artistic manufactures. In the footstep of the German period-based arrangements at the beginning of the 20th century, contextualization of artworks could improve their understanding, appealing to the general public well beyond art experts and designers. Finally, a few rooms broke this criterion for an arrangement with the display of some theatrical collections and the celebrated Maggiolini’s Lombard furniture according to a traditionally taxonomical layout. While criticizing some artworks’ mediocrity, influential journalist and art critic Margherita Sarfatti concluded that the Museum of decorative arts in Milano did not truly exist, claiming further purchases for increasing decorative arts heritage. Newspaper headlines and archival documents suggest some clues for this overall failure: first, the overlapping of different levels of governance in the project’s management, then the inadequacy of some of the exhibition spaces, and finally, the management mishaps of some museum’s rooms being used as a social venue. Moreover, political changes (see the rise of Fascism) and social practice of tastes rejecting the concept of palace and pursuing new paradigms for museums (converging in the debate at the 1934 International Conference of Madrid) propelled the museum’s end.
Ambiances. Esperienze immersive nell’arte e al museo
978-88-6923-783-6
Allestimenti immersivi, dimore reali, arti decorative, artieri, industria
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: http://hdl.handle.net/11311/1178435
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