International Museum of Ceramics of Faenza
One of the materials on which Italian craftsmanship is most concentrated, from north to south, is ceramic. Whether it is colored or white, richly worked or minimal, the whole peninsula is dotted with more or less large workshops in which we continue to produce and renew this ancient artisan tradition.
The most impressive and important museum in Italy on this subject is certainly the International Museum of Ceramics, an exhibition founded in Faenza in September 1908 following the great international exhibition on Torricelli.
The exhibition is the largest collection in the world dedicated to ceramics: over 2,000 works arranged over an area of 9,000 square meters; the original nucleus of the same derived from a donation from the exhibitors themselves, which was then enriched over time and despite the fact that the museum was almost completely razed to the ground in 1944, following a bombing.
The very name of the museum suggests the multicultural vision that is offered to the visitor: alongside the typically Italian and European works, there are in fact a whole series of sections dedicated to ceramics from abroad.
From pre-Columbian ceramics, to those of the Middle East, passing through those typical of classical Greece; the excursus touches on different continents and on different historical periods, within a varied itinerary. The part of the museum dedicated to Italian and European ceramics is particularly extensive and varied: you can admire areas dedicated to the historical development of ceramics, such as those of the Italian workshops between 700 and 900, some sections concentrated on local Faenza production and still ceramics whose use it is closely linked to popular traditions and devotion.
In addition to these fixed exhibitions, the museum complex also arranges temporary exhibitions, which alternate for well-defined periods; for lovers of the genre, the next one will be inaugurated on 27 June 2014 and until February 2015 will deal with “The ceramic sculpture in Italy of the second post-war period. From Fontana to Leoncillo, from Melotti to Ontani ”.
The museum does not end there, it also includes an impressive specialized library, which responds to the intent of the structure to collect and provide bibliographic material on ceramics, art, history and technology. This part of the museum also suffered the repercussions of the war and bombings, so much so that after the war it was reorganized with the few existing volumes until it once again reached the splendor of the more than 50,000 volumes of art and ceramics currently present.
The restoration section is also prominent, operating since the Eighties and now renowned in the field of maintenance of museum works that are made of ceramic or similar materials; it also organizes training and study meetings for specialists in the sector.
And again, the International Museum of Ceramics demonstrates that it is pursuing an innovative and engaging approach: it has recently opened an educational section to the public in preparation for visiting the collections, thanks to which the techniques of ceramics are illustrated to the public.
The production process, ceramic products, and decorative techniques are explained through the engaging use of multimedia tools; the visitor can not only admire the finished product, but also learn about the numerous stages of the production process. Specially structured activities are also available for children and families, to offer a visit as pleasant as possible: an example are the animated Saturdays organized for the little ones in the exhibition halls, or Sundays when families can take advantage of a special guide. inside the museum. The "Playing with art" workshop is also aimed at the little ones, with which they try to manipulate the material by passing the process through play, inaugurated as far back as 1979 on the initiative of the same director of the time, Carlo Bojani.