December 19, 2014-April 12, 2015
The first of its kind, the exhibition offered visitors the opportunity to discover the difficult and fascinating art of blacksmithing through a reevaluation of the work of Alberto Calligaris, a master of artistic wrought iron production and an exquisite designer in the field of the applied arts in Friuli during the early twentieth century. His projects - undertaken between 1908 and the early thirties – illustrate the course of his artistic development and map a creative journey from diverse expressions of Art Nouveau to the re-working of Renaissance elements typical of Art Deco. The corpus of 250 drawings preserved in the "Calligaris" archive represents an important and extremely valuable cultural asset. The illustrations include ink drawings on tracing paper and pencil drawings on paper, as well as a few watercolors reproduced using either heliographic or blueprint processing. In addition to these materials, an extensive collection of photographs was also displayed.
Graphically fascinating, the illustrations testify to fine drawing skills and an assured command of each stage of the design process - from initial design to realization. Calligaris was a true master of his craft and highly respected. Thanks to his stylistic mastery of project design and his company’s effective corporate structure, Calligaris was highly sought after and received many prestigious and demanding commissions. These public and private undertakings saw him work alongside leading figures of the Italian art world of his day, a further indication of the high esteem in which he was held.