CAPTAINS COURAGEOUS – SCULPTURE IN PIETRASANTA BETWEEN THE 19TH AND 20TH CENTURIES – Accurately selected collection of plaster works from the municipality of Pietrasanta – P. Gherardi Maquettes’ Museum, and given on loan to MuSA. The selection is part of a larger ‘Museo diffuso’ project with which the Municipality of Pietrasanta, in the quest for containers capable of hosting small sections of the museum featuring maquettes in theme with the location, makes its imposing plaster collection available to all.
The “Captains Courageous” collection is expertly illustrated in a video reconstructing the three moments – genesis, progress, establishment – of the development of the artisan professions tied to sculpture and evokes the presence of great artists. Through a refined work of direction, the video runs on the large screens present at MuSA and, in a succession of historical images, sounds and background noises connected to marble processing, engrosses the viewer in the ambience of the times.
History, the territory, work, art, culture: the tradition of the Versilia community stems from the constant entwining of tangible and intangible elements. Promoting and nurturing its particular characteristics and facilitating dissemination is the intent shared by the Museo dei Bozzetti – Maquettes’ Museum (www.museodeibozzetti.it/) of the Municipality of Pietrasanta and by MuSA, a space managed by the Lucca Chamber of Commerce and its subsidiary Lucca Intec.
The title of the initiative – that sanctions an initial form of collaboration between the two institutions – interprets the effort made to cross contemporary times, to look ahead while at the same time being firmly anchored to the beating heart of the past.
The exhibition is comprised of a series of works from the collection of the Maquettes’ Museum given on loan to MuSA. It represents the opportunity to tell the stories of enterprising people, of multi-faceted artists who have contributed to making Pietrasanta a foundational and instrumental destination for artistic sculpture between the two centuries, of gifted sculptors capable of seizing the occasion and challenging the adversities of their time. These individuals are the forerunners of today’s artists and artisan entrepreneurs, and their stories can spur us to comparison and to the quest for a future dimension of culture and of work.
The maquettes selected were created between the end of the 1800s and the first half of the 1900s by Bozzano, Zilocchi, Bibolotti, Calandra, Rubino, Jacopi, Luciano, Arrighini Parma and Tommasi. They narrate the world of sculpture in our area during that period of time: the training and/or teaching at the Fine Arts School of Pietrasanta; the prominent role of sculpture at that time as sacred and funerary art; commemorative monuments; portraiture; the invention and marketing of new manufacturing tools; the importance of maquettes and models when creating a sculpture; the twofold role of artist and craftsman which in some cases coincided; famous Italian sculptors who turned to Versilian workshops to create monumental works; the role of entrepreneurial craftsmen who travelled abroad to promote their work and seek new markets; and the ways to overcome periodical moments of crisis.
These characters were the forerunners of today’s artists and entrepreneurial craftsmen and their stories help us promote dialogue and the search for the future scope of culture and work.