Casa d’Arte Futurista Depero, Rovereto – Depero Futurist House
Also known as Museo Depero, the Casa d’Arte Futurista Depero in Rovereto, Northern Italy, is a museum of art and design founded by and focused on famous Italian Futurist artist Fortunato Depero.
Born in 1892 in Fondo – a village in the Trentino region which at the time was still part of Austria-Hungary, Fortunato Depero was one of the most influential figures of Italian Futurism.
A painter, sculptor, and designer, together with Giacomo Balla, Umberto Boccioni, Filippo Tommaso Marinetti, and Enrico Prampolini, Depero was one of the founders of Futurism, a cross-disciplinary movement established in Rome in the early 1910s with a view to revolutionize and rejuvenate both Italian art and society.
Therefore, in his over-50-year-long career, Depero engaged with the most various forms of creative expression, including painting, sculpture, avant-garde theater stage design (also for Sergej Diaghilev), graphic design, decorative arts, and furniture design; also creating iconic advertising and packaging designs, such as the famous Campari Soda “cone” bottle in the early 1930s.
After briefly moving to New York in the 1920s, Depero eventually came back to Trentino where he lived and worked in the city of Rovereto until his death, in 1960.
Fortunato Depero, study for a cover for “Vanity Fair”, 1929 – 1930, collage; image courtesy of MART museum, Rovereto
Fortunato Depero, Nitrito in Velocità (Neigh at Speed), ca. 1932, oil on canvas; Florentine Civic Museum, Alberto Della Ragione Donation
Fortunato Depero, Campari Soda bottle, ca. 1932
The Depero Futurist House in Rovereto
Depero had the idea of a museum inspired by the principles of Futurism – innovation, irony, non-conformism, anti-historicism, passion for speed and technology, and intertwining of different forms of art – back in the early 1950s. Housed in a nice palace in the historical center of the medieval town of Rovereto, near Trento; such museum, whose spaces and exhibitions were designed by the artist himself, finally opened to the public in 1959, just one year before his death.
Conceived as a “total artwork” – featuring paintings, sculpture, graphics, and applied art objects created by Depero from the early 1900s to the 1950s – the museum is an unique combination of art, design, and architecture, as well as one of the most interesting examples of a museum completely imagined by an artist.
After becoming part of the MART museum’s network, the Depero’s Futurist House was restored and renovated after a design by architect Renato Rizzi in 2009.
The Futurist Art House features a collection of over 3,000 pieces by Depero, displayed on rotation, which includes paintings, drawings, furniture, inlaid wood panels, tapestries, advertising posters, art books, and toys.
The permanent exhibition rooms entitled Eco della stampa (Press review) and Rovereto are particularly interesting; the first room still retains the original fit-out consisting of an array wooden cases which contain books, catalogs, and engravings by Depero, while the second was entirely designed by him.
Two ample and bright rooms, numbered 5 and 6, accommodate some of the most famous and playful creations of the Italian artist, such as a series of large inlaid felt panels hanging from the walls, and two beautiful wooden toys created by Depero “to train children to imagination” two of which, depicting a rooster and a cat, “overlook” the visitors on top of an arched portal.
The program of the museum features temporary exhibitions – mostly focused on design and applied arts, guided tours, and special events.
Entrance courtyard of the Depero’s Futurist House in Rovereto; photo © Inexhibit
Interior views of the museum; photos © Fernando Guerra, courtesy of MART
Photo © Inexhibit
Cover image, the “Rovereto” room of the Depero Museum; photo by Sailko
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copyright Inexhibit 2020 - ISSN: 2283-5474