The rooms of the permanent exhibition
MIDeC has eleven exhibition rooms. Of these, nine host the permanent exhibition area, two are dedicated to temporary exhibitions of artists and designers.
1. Luciano Scotti room
2. Vittorio Longobardi room
3. Royal Set room
4. Giulia Casanova Scotti room
5. Marco Costantini room
6. Guido Andlovitz room
7. Ceramica Revelli room
8. Antonia Campi room
9. Temporary exhibitions
10. Temporary exhibitions
11. Angelo Biancini room
Luciano Scotti room
The visit itinerary begins with room 1 dedicated to Luciano Scotti, where the visitor can find large decorative wall plates made between 1895 and 1923. These works represent different styles, from the verist and the romantic tradition to a Liberty style and some late 19th century tableware. A unique piece is the cruciform tray of religious inspiration, showing an inspiring representation of Madonna with child Jesus and little saint John, dated 1895.
Vittorio Longobardi room
The next room (room 2) is dedicated to Vittorio Longobardi, who promoted the creation of this Museum. Here 18 precious Liberty-style umbrella stands, dated 1901 to 1930, are exposed, after a restoration sponsored by the Amici del MIDeC association. These works present precious second- and third-fire decorations, with an admirable variety of subjects, ranging from the realistic to the Art Nouveau representation.
Royal Set room
Continuing the visit across the “piano nobile” first floor, in room 3 the Royal Set (Servizio Reale) can be admired, a unique specimen fabricated in 1923 exclusively for the Italian royal family Savoia and never transfered to serial production.
This precious white stoneware table service, typically 19th century styled, carries a stripe decoration colored cobalt blue, called “blu Laveno”, with a gold line and a golden-polychrome icon of the Kingdom of Italy crown. This service was offered by Società Ceramica Italiana to Italy’s crown prince on the inauguration of the first International Exhibition of Decorative Arts that was held at the Villa Reale in Monza in the same year.
Giulia Casanova Scotti room
In the next small room, dedicated to Giulia Casanova Scotti, a visitor can appreciate works of the Art Nouveau production of the S.C.I.
Particularly interesting is the 1903 vase by Giorgio Spertini. Its colour is “terra di Siena bruciata” brown, its frame is gold-plated bronze, and its pure form is an example of the blue, with a silver decoration, vase designed by architect Piero Portaluppi.
Marco Costantini room
The itinerary continues in the room (room 5) dedicated to a talented engraver and artist, Marco Costantini. He was an original author and skillfully interpreted the engraving and etching techniques on ceramics, particularly the technique of pure gold printing on porcelain.
Guido Andlovitz room
The ample official meeting room (room 6) dedicated to Guido Andlovitz is enriched by a monumental fireplace and by frescoes representing cherubs. It hosts a monographic collection of works by this great architect, hyperbolical anticipations of design.
The Vecchio Milano tableware set combines shapes of the 18th century tradition with the “Lago Maggiore” decoration style of 1926-27, and it presents an imaginary recreational navigation among sites that are well known to Lake Maggiore lovers: historic villas, religious buildings, silent boatyards, precipitous rocks, mysterious gardens and all the wealth of images in a marvelous landscape.
Objects or really contemporary design are exposed in the showcases. Fruit bowls, amphora vases, columns, sweets trays, jewel boxes, candlesticks: they all present a pure design and extra-modern finishing. Ceramic objects are decorated in a selective monochromy or by using glazes which, exploiting chemical mixes, produce random, unexpected, and perfectly artistic effects like trickling down, splotches, moiré.
Ceramica Revelli room
In small room 7 a few rare objects produced in the Ceramica Revelli are collected. Among these, an interesting pink tableware set deserves attention as a specimen of the innovative technique of colouring the body instead of using a coloured glazing. The room presents a tempera decorated, coffered wooden ceiling.
Antonia Campi room
Next is room 8, dedicated to Antonia Campi. It hosts many masterly creations by a world-class sculptress and designer, of high talent and qualities, produced between the 1950s and the 1970s, perfectly combining functional ergonomics, formal concepts, and expression of sensitivity to the changing times.
Antonia Campi’s industrial design ranged from what was called “Articolo Fantasia” (that is, any furniture complement beyond tableware) to forward-looking experimental solutions for modern bathroom fixture. Here exposed is the 1949 “C33 Spaziale” umbrella stand, a top icon of world design.
C33 is a fruit of deep reflection on the plastic values of the full and the empty space, on dissimulation of shapes in an optical play of intersections, typical in two-tone decoration, and in a daring challenge to achieve domination of the ceramic material.
Room 9 and Room 10
These two rooms are used for temporary exhibitions of ceramic design and art.
Angelo Biancini room
The itinerary ends with room 11, dedicated to Angelo Biancini. Collected in the room are small and large signed objects of the productive years, from 1937 to 1940, when Biancini collaborated with the Società Ceramica Italiana in Laveno.
Fascinating is the garden statue Atteone, finished with a green, dripping glaze. The large, high-relief sculpture Orpheus enchanting animals with Music illustrates the Orpheus myth. The visitor can admire the original preparatory plaster in the dedicated rooms at the ground floor, complete with all its parts, as it was when exposed at the 7th Triennale exhibition in Milan in 1940.