The MIDeC came to life with a basic endowment (the “Richard Ginori 1735” collection) which clearly sets its destiny and vocation.
It is a specialized Museum, which collects and presents the stoneware production in the Lombard region between the middle of the 19th century and the middle of the 20th century, offering the public a clear and homogeneous explanation.
The story linking Laveno and ceramics is over 160 years long. A witness of this marriage is the Museo Internazionale del Design Ceramico (MIDeC).
Since 1971 it is located in the 16th century palazzo Perabò in Cerro, part of the Laveno Mombello municipality.
It was opened, with the name Civica Raccolta di Terraglia (civic stoneware collection), when an initial set of ceramic works from Società Ceramica Richard-Ginori was deposited. Other objects belonging to private collections were added. In recent years, further donations marked an opening towards a continuous exploration of the ceramic art, which is being also pursued by organising temporary exhibitions.
A visit at the Museum provides evidence to the characteristic mark that was printed by successive art directors of the Laveno factories onto the local ceramic production. Thanks to them, the “made in Laveno” stoneware has been well known beyond the country’s borders. A few names of those who set the path can be cited: Guido Andlovitz, one of the pioneers of Italian ceramic history, and Antonia Campi, a designer and ceramist among the most original and modern.
The MIDeC has kept growing in the recent decades. Its collection has been enriched with new and original works by contemporary artists, bearing witness to the fact that ceramics, beyond being in daily usage, remains a privileged material for artistic expression at all times.
Stoneware (or earthenware) is produced with clay-type material. It is distinguished from porcelain because it presents a lower mechanical resistance, yet, it can give excellent results with decoration. It was first produced in England by the Wedgwood manufacturing firm around 1750, and was soon diffused in Italy.