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Craft ceramics museums

The Cerro International Ceramic Design Museum , Laveno: Inaugurated in 1971 in the 16th century Palazzo Perabò, Cerro, the Museum showcases the history of earthenware pottery from the mid-19th century to the present day, with collections donated by Franco Revelli, Scotti-Meregalli and the Società Ceramica Italiana Richard-Ginori, as well as from numerous items from private collections.
The Museum exhibits not only works by the great masters of the 20th century, including Andlovitz, Biancini, Campi, Gariboldi, Melandri and Ponti, but also a number of major contemporary works.

The Poldi Pezzoli Museum : Established in Milan in 1881 by collector Gian Giacomo Poldi Pezzoli, it is the most important Italian museum dedicated to the history of collecting and the decorative arts.
Along with its large collection of Italian Renaissance paintings, it also houses very interesting collections of weapons, ceramics, porcelain, glassware, fabrics, clocks and jewellery. The ceramics collection is composed of works from Meissen, Sèvres, Wedgwood, Berlin, Strasbourg, Vienna and the Far East, as well as Italian porcelain from Doccia and Capodimonte.

The Nove Ceramics Museum : Housed in the Palazzo De Fabris, previously the home of the Ceramic Arts Institute (Istituto d’Arte per la Ceramica), the Museum boasts an outstanding collection of Venice, Nove and Vicenza  ceramics from the 18th to the 20th centuries.
The Museum also has a fascinating collection of “cuchi” (terracotta whistles) from the Nino Athos Cassanelli collection, of which 190 are of Venetian origin, another 300 from other European countries and a number from Italian regional traditions.

The Museum of ceramics  – Mondovì: The Museum is housed in the prestigious Palazzo Fauzone di Germagnano, owned by the province.
On the first floor, it showcases the history of Mondovi ceramics, with artefacts dating back to the 1st century BC and the low middle ages, Ligurian ceramics from the 18th century, along with decorations and displays from many historical periods, as well as tableware.
The second floor is dedicated to ceramics from the 19th and 20th centuries.
The two floors also have multimedia rooms with exhibits on the manufacture of ceramics and a space devoted to the presentation of eight examples of tables adorned with Mondovi tableware over the last two centuries.

The Castellamonte Ceramics Museum : The Palazzo dei Conti Botton, home of the municipality from 1854 to 1990, has since 1993 housed the “Raccolta Civica di Terra Rossa”, a ceramics museum in two sections: a historical museum with pottery exhibits and parts of wood stoves from the 17th to the 19th centuries, and another housing works donated by artists who have participated in the Ceramics Exhibition held in the Palazzo every year, together with work by students at the local Art School.

The Lodi Municipal Museum :The section of the Museum dedicated to ceramics includes excavated artefacts from the 15th to the 17th centuries made in Lodi, Pavese and other North Italian centres. There are also numerous 18th to 20th century ceramics from Lodi, coming from important collections such as the 1934 donation by A. Dossena which was exhibited for the first time in 1958. In 1975, a gift from the legacy of lawyer Alberto Robiati made it possible to renovate and expand the Museum’s ceramics section, which was opened to the public in 1978.

The Carlo Zauli Museum (Faenza): In 1949, Carlo Zauli acquired the workshop of Faenza ceramicist Mario Morelli, housed in the stables of the Convent of San Francesco, Faenza. And it is in the same workshop, expanded and renovated by Zauli, that the Museum is now situated, which not only exhibits a permanent collection of works by the artist himself, but also preserves and archives his work. The workshop – which has been kept exactly as it was left by Zauli – is also occasionally used by famous ceramicists from around the world.

M.U.S.A.: The extraordinary elegance and beauty of the works on show at the Museum of Ceramics document six centuries of tradition at Savona and Albisola, which together form one of the most important and oldest ceramics manufacturing centres in the Mediterranean region.
Even now, ceramics is still the figurative form which best represents the history, art and economy of the area.
This is testified to by numerous museums, churches, municipal monuments, works of urban design and the many manufacturers who are still working in the region.

The Deruta Regional Ceramics Museum : Founded in 1989 by Francesco Briganti, with the collaboration of Alpinolo Magnini and Angelo Michetti, among others, the Museum was inspired by its founder’s wish to “…construct a museum for artists and the history of art and decoration in the homeland of Majolica, Deruta”. The pages of the website give a tour of the three storeys of the building which houses the Museum’s collections and, among other works from the 20th century, those of Angelo Michetti, Alpinolo Magnini, Ubaldo Grazia and David Zipirovich.

Pesaro Municipal Museum, Ceramics Division : The Museum’s collections include ceramics from the major Italian manufacturers of the 17th and 18th centuries, donated by the Ugolini collection in 1974, a selection of oriental and European porcelain from the 17th to the 19th centuries and the collection of 18th/19th century majolica previously owned by Vittoria Toschi Mosca and donated to the Museum together with an important collection of applied objets d’art, in 1885.
The 20th century collection includes ceramics from the early 1900s from the most important Pesaro manufacturers and the entire set of participating works from the Third National Ceramics Exhibition held in Pesaro in 1952.

The Acerbo Museum of Ceramics, Castelli : Established in 1957 by architect Leonardo Palladini, the Castelli Museum of Ceramics houses the collection of Baron Giacomo Acerbo with 570 ceramics dating from the 16th to the 19th centuries, almost all made in Castelli itself.
The ceramics are displayed in chronological order in the Museum’s six rooms.
The sole 20th century work in the collection is a plate figuring Cincinattus’s call to Rome, a masterpiece by Prof. Alfredo Santarelli, decorated with metallic lustre.

The Manlio Trucco Ceramics Museum : The Museum is situated in Manlio Trucco’s last house.
The house was donated by the artist to the Municipality of Albisola Superiore, with the express intention of founding a permanent exhibition of the work of sculptors and ceramicists who have worked in Albisola Superiore.
It has several rooms in which the ceramics donated by the author are on display: large vases, acquired in 1954 as part of a national competition, and pharmaceutical vases decorated in light blue. The Museum’s most recent acquisition is a panel of majolica tiles (“laggioni”), dated 28 August 1554. The corridor running from this room is decorated with panels documenting the history of ceramics in Albisola from the late 15th to the 19th century (locations of kilns, colour mills, etc.).

The Giuseppe Mazzotti Factory Museum  – Albisola Mare: Founded on the premises of the factory following a design by Futurist architect Nicolaj Diulgheroff in 1934, the Museum became the Factory Museum in 1964, thanks to a collaboration between Giuseppe Bepi Mazzotti and Mario Fusco.
Re-organised in 1987 by ceramics expert Fulvio Maria Rosso, today’s collection is open to the public in the form curated by Tullio Mazzotti and Antonella Marotta in 1995.
The collection is divided into four periods: “Early days”, “Second futurism”, “Fifties” and “Contemporary”.
The factory garden, although small, itself houses a fascinating outdoor collection of works by important artists.

The Ascoli Piceno Museum of Ceramic Arts : Inaugurated in 2007 in the building next to the Romanesque church of San Tommaso, the Museum houses the municipal collections, the ceramics from the collection of the Cassa di Risparmio Ascoli Piceno Foundation, and the Matricardi family collection. The Museum’s collection includes ancient majolica and ceramics made in the 19th and 20th centuries, both locally and from Deruta, Faenza, Montelupo Fiorentino, Savona and Genoa.

The Municipal Museum of Gubbio: The Museum, in the 14th century Palazzo dei Consoli, houses the Municipal Museum’s collections, including the ceramics collections, in the Loggetta room and along the Corridoio Segreto (Secret Corridor), with examples of archaic pottery going back to the 14th century, a beautiful collection of red and gold lustre majolica from the Renaissance workshop of Mastro Giorgio Andreoli, and Italian works from the 19th and 20th centuries.

The Montelupo Ceramics Museum : Inaugurated on 3 July 1983 with the name “Museum of Ceramics and the Region”, and located in Palazzo del Podestà, it was officially opened to the public two years later. In 1985, the ceramics collection was finally housed on the first floor of the Palazzo, and expanded into the floor above in 1993.
In May 2008, the Museum moved to the Nuovo Museo whose ground floor houses a reconstruction of the “pozzo dei lavatoi” (washing well), where the first important finds of Montelupo mediaeval ceramics were made, some majolicas from the 13th to the 15th century, and the reconstruction of a mediaeval canteen. The upper floor houses a display of Renaissance ceramics.
The original home of the Museum, in the Palazzo del Podestà, now houses the Contemporary Museum of Painting, Sculpture, Design and Ceramics (Museo Contemporaneo di Pittura, Scultura Design e Ceramica), with collections which cover the late 19th century to the present day.

The Chini Museum  (Florence): Inaugurated in late 1999 in the 13th century Villa Pecori Giraldi, the Museum is dedicated to the work of the greatest Italian ceramicist working at the turn of the 20th century.
The ground floor not only presents the history of the Chini family, but also houses a reconstruction of a ceramic factory of the day, and a wood kiln used for lustre decoration.
The first floor houses the collection of Chini ceramics made both in the Arte della Ceramica workshop and in the Fornaci San Lorenzo, Mugello.

The Palazzo Pitti Porcelain Museum : Housed in the Palazzina del Cavaliere, at the top of the Giardino di Boboli, it is possibly the most beautiful collection of antique porcelain in Italy, collected by Pietro Leopoldo and Ferdinando III and expanded with pieces from the historic residences at Parma, Piacenza and Sala Baganza with the aim of furnishing the Florence home of the Savoia royal family.

The Tuscia Ceramics Museum : Located in the historic centre of Viterbo, in the 6th century Palazzo Brugiotti, the Tuscia Ceramics Museum is located on the ground floor, with its collections of ceramics going back to the Middle Ages, the Renaissance and the 18th and 19th centuries.

The Doncompagni Ludovisi Museum of Applied Arts and Fashion : The Ludovisi Boncompagni family’s lovely villa in the heart of Rome houses the centre for the documentation and promotion of the decorative arts, fashion and costume.
The section dedicated to the decorative arts includes numerous ceramics from the first thirty years of the Italian 20th century, drawn from private donations collected by the “Amici del Museo per le Arti Decorative” (Friends of the Museum of Decorative Arts) of Rome.

The International Collection of Ceramic Arts : The International Collection of Contemporary Ceramic Arts is now housed in the Istituto Statale d’Arte F. A. Grue, Castelli, and documents the work of over 500 artists from 50 different countries over the last fifty years.

The Casimiro Marcantoni Ceramics Museum: The Museum houses numerous examples of 20th century ceramics from Civita Castellana.
Some of the works in the collection, made in the city’s many workshops during the 20th century, are represented in the Museum website gallery.
Rocca Flea Municipal Museum (Museo Civico Rocca Flea) – Gualdo Tadino: Originally inaugurated in the Rocca Flea palace in Gualdo Tadino, in 1999 it housed the Municipal Museum on the first and second floors of the Palazzina Del Monte. The atrium and a room on the first floor are home to the ceramics section, with pottery going back to the 15th century and numerous works from the 19th and 20th centuries, decorated with gold and ruby lustre, by the most important local masters.

The Ceramics Museum of the Province of Salerno (Vietri) : Inaugurated on 9 May 1981 in the Belvedere tower of Villa Guariglia di Raito (SA), the exhibit has expanded over the years to the villa’s ground floor to make room for numerous acquisitions and donations.
The Museum is divided into three sections, the first two of which focus on utility pottery and religious ceramics from the 17th century onwards. The third section, divided into sectors by artist and workshop, is devoted to the “German period” of Vietri’s ceramics production, housed on the second floor in the Michelucci room, with works by Carrano, Dolker, Kowaliska, Procida, Gambone, Avallone, Pinto and other masters.

The Grottaglie Ceramics Museum : The Museum is housed in the old stables of the Episcopio castle, built in the late 14th century by Archbishop Giacomo D’Atri, as the seat of the Archbishopric, and is home to 400 ceramic items dating from the 8th century to the present day.
The Museum, with its evocative architectural setting, is divided into five sections: Traditional utility pottery, Archaeological, Majolica, Contemporary ceramics and Nativity scenes.

The Palazzo Vescovile Diocesan Museum :  The Museum holds a rare and well-documented collection of ceramics which, thanks to donations by late ceramics expert, Don Corrado Leonardi, includes numerous examples of the Casteldurante tradition from the low middle ages to the 20th century.

The S. Stefano di Camastra Ceramics Museum : Opened to the public for Christmas 1994, in the rooms of Palazzo Trabia, the Museum houses a set of local traditional utility ceramics such as the ciascu (flask), cannata (wine or water mug), bummulo (a tall, narrow jug with two handles), burnia (olive jar) along with holy water dispensers, oil lamps, pinecones (a traditional fertility symbol), jars and many others. The Museum also houses a collection of majolica bricks from S. Stefano from the 17th century.

MUCEB – The Municipal Ceramics Museum – Burgio: Inaugurated in June 2010, the Museum is housed in the former monastery adjacent to the church of Santa Maria delle Grazie.
It is divided into four historical periods: Sixteenth Century, Seventeenth Century, Eighteenth Century and Nineteenth Century, as a testimony to the ceramic arts of Burgio and its master craftsmen.

The Regional Museum of Ceramics, Caltagirone (Catania): the entrance to the Museum is highly evocative, with its 19th century gateway crowning the ‘Teatrino’ (a belvedere built in the 18th century to a design by Bonaiuto), and cascading steps with ceramic decorations. The Museum houses ceramics from all over Sicily, and narrates the history of the island’s ceramics production, from prehistory to the start of the 20th century, with a particular focus on pottery from Caltagirone.