Museo Ginori Milan tells all about itself

Interno Museo Ginori Milano

Online the entire historical archive.

The Ginori Museum is still closed and will remain so for a while yet, but it already has̀ so many stories to tell. To read and listen to them, is now online the website, which makes the very rich artistic and documentary heritage of the collections available to all.

“The museum – explains Ginori Museum Foundation President Tomaso Montanari – is temporarily inaccessible to the public, but is alive and ready to share knowledge. Launching a closed museum site is a challenge, but it is also and above all an opportunity to promote another idea of the museum and to bring to the forefront what commonly remains hidden, namely its being a center of research and cultural production and a community committed to developing a critical dialogue about the past, present and future”.

The Ginori Museum’s headquarters in the 1960s.

The website recounts the history of the museum, which began in the eighteenth century along with that of the porcelain factory created in Sesto Fiorentino by the Marquis Carlo Ginori, and his present: the restoration campaign of the works conducted by the Opificio delle Pietre Dure, with which a collaboration pact was signed; the exhibitions carried out in Sesto Fiorentino and Florence in collaboration with the University’s SAGAS Department; the international conferences dedicated to specialists and study days for students; educational activities and workshops aimed at children and adults; the commitment of volunteers that allow the museum garden to already be open every day, and the theatrical walks through the sites of the old Manifattura di Doccia.

Workers at the Manifattura di Doccia at work, 20th century

“The museum staff,” Montanari announced. has just completed the digital inventory of more than 10,000 works and their transfer to a secure location. A special section of the site will also document the progress of renovations to the headquarters, which will finally get underway by year’s end.”.

On the Collections pages, the site presents the museum’s most significant works, with extensive critical entries written by conservators Oliva Rucellai and Rita Balleri. Alongside the famous ceramics for the table, porcelain sculptures appear; wax, plaster, and sulfur models; everyday objects such as plaques for house numbers and insulators for power grids; drawings and prototypes testifying to methods of work and research; artistic majolica and Art Nouveau masterpieces.

Venus de’ Medici, porcelain, 1747 approx.
Ginori manufactory, Fireplace, porcelain, 1754

In the site Magazine the narrative becomes cross-disciplinary, with editorial slanted articles telling about floral decorations born of Carlo Ginori’s passion for exotic plants, grown in a large greenhouse near the manufactory; of experiments close to utopia to grow corals on porcelain deposited in the sea off the Ginori colony in Cecina; of a company profile ante litteram written by Collodi when his brother Paolo Lorenzini was running the Ginori factory.

Manifattura Ginori based on a design by Gaetano Lodi, Service riser for the Kedivè of Egypt, porcelain, 1874-1875 approx.

In the podcast of Tomaso Montanari, the mission and identity of the museum are also recounted through the words of Don Lorenzo Milani, who was particularly close to Ginori in the critical postwar years, when – to avert mass layoffs – a large group of factory workers embarked on a memorable bicycle journey from Sesto Fiorentino to Milan.

“The most beautiful thing about this site,” says Consuelo de Gara, Ginori Museum’s communications manager. Is that it succeeds, and will succeed even more in the future, in telling everyone an infinite number of stories. Stories of art, craftsmanship, collecting, taste, fickle and extravagant commissions, successful attempts and failures, work created and lost, talent and passion. Stories of people in the factory who learned a trade, built supportive communities far ahead of their time”.


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