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Stunning Italian glass collection finds home in Pesaro

Cocteau, Sironi, Macchiaioli school also among 180 works

14 February, 16:09
Stunning Italian glass collection finds home in Pesaro

(By Stefania Fumo) (ANSA) - Rome - A sensational collection of 180 rare Venetian glass works, paintings, drawings, and furniture donated by Anna Maria Miele and the late Adalberto Vinciguerra has opened in the city of Pesaro's Civic Museum, a small, noteworthy institution that has bet on a new start through a mix of private investors and EU funding. The Vinciguerra collection will be its pride and joy, and the Civic Museum will make it into a permanent installation in three exhibition halls after the show titled "Standard-Bearers of Italian Design: Gio Ponti and the 20th-century Murano Masters in the Vinciguerra Collection" closes on May 30. Sought-after by museums the world over, a splendid 1923 porcelain cista, or casket, by groundbreaking 20th-century Italian architect, designer and artist Gio Ponti is the opening salvo in the show, which highlights what are perhaps the most breathtaking elements of the Vinciguerra collection, the glass works: a series of fragile, marvelous and magical objects that tell the story of this little-known sector of Italian art. Among these is the sober majesty of the great amber amphora designed by Vittorio Zecchin in the 1920s for Cappellin-Venini manufacturers, the small, delicate flasks by Murano-born sculptor Napoleone Martinuzzi, a uniquely colored plate by Venetian architect and designer Carlo Scarpa.

"The initial idea was to donate the collection to a foreign museum, in order to get the word out abroad about this little-known Italian specialty: the glassmakers, who have today rightfully been rediscovered as the precursors of that Italian taste and design which makes us famous around the world'', said Miele, a retired ANSA journalist. But there is also furniture, as well as paintings and drawings by Futurists such as Vladimiro Tulli and Enrico Prampolini, the small, emblematic canvas 'Futurist Man' by Mario Sironi, work by realist painter Silvestro Lega from the 19th-century Macchiaioli school, and works by iconic author, artist and filmmaker Jean Cocteau.

Following the premise that esthetics are a form of ethics, the couple's collection embodies a lifelong love of beauty and the finer sentiments.

"Over the years, we learned that true wealth does not lie in possession, but in trying to glean the secrets of the soul of those who created these objects," Miele said.

Hence their passionate research into the lives and struggles of the artists whose works they acquired. "For example, painter Lorenzo Viani, a dissident voice during the Mussolini dictatorship who was interested in the marginalized and the derelict, and who died a pauper," said Miele.

Year after year, the couple's quest for inner embellishment translated into a growing treasure, of which the Vinciguerras thought of themselves as the temporary custodians. Now pampered in the halls of the Museo Civico in Pesaro, they have become the heritage of all.