Museo di Palazzo Palazzo Mocenigo

Mocenigo Palace

NEW ITINERARIES FOR PALAZZO MOCENIGO. Between fashion and fragrances

Considerations by W. Hartsarich


With the reopening of the Museo di Palazzo Mocenigo, the Fondazione Musei Civici di Venezia has fulfilled an important cultural mission that was launched with the aim of breathing new life into the wishes of the last descendant of his noble family, Alvise Nicolò Mocenigo: that of using the aristocratic residence he donated in his will to the Comune di Venezia in 1945 as an “Art gallery complementing that of the Museo Correr”.

In reality, this desire materialised in 1985, when the Palazzo di San Stae, which in the meantime had entered the Musei Civici Veneziani system, was opened to the public as a significant example of 18th-century aristocratic Venetian residence and as the venue for the new Centro Studi di Storia del Tessuto e del Costume (History of Textiles and Costume Study Centre).

Through the radical restyling operation and expansion of the exhibition space that has been implemented in recent months in the museum – and which takes place exactly 30 years after the first restoration – the aim has been not only to bring upto- date the display layout of one of the most important museums in the Muve circuit, adding an extraordinary section dedicated to perfume thanks to the important collaboration of the Vidal family, but also to stress that original “proposal” that today seems all the more aligned with the inspiration behind other “collector-benefactors”. To mention just one of these: Teodoro Correr, creator of the founding nucleus of the immense heritage of the Musei Civici di Venezia, now divided between the museum bearing his name and all the other sites of our museums.

Given these premises, it is easier to understand why the idea of not involving the entire Fondazione was inconceivable: dozens of works of art and objects, themselves recovered from storerooms or restored for the occasion have helped transform Palazzo Mocenigo into a veritable Wunderkammer of the 18th century, strengthening the natural inclination associated with the history of Fashion and Costume.

This “choral” action has involved the Museo Correr, which has sent paintings showing historic and celebratory scenes of Venice, together with others from Ca’ Rezzonico – Museo del Settecento veneziano and the extraordinary glass coils, ampoules and other antique laboratory equipment on show in the new and extraordinary Perfume section, arrive from the Museo del Vetro di Murano. Moreover, there are antique lace from the museum of Burano and splendid herbariums from the Museo di Storia Naturale. The overall result is extraordinary and has been made possible thanks to the commitment of the professionals of the calibre of Pier Luigi Pizzi, Gabriella Belli and Chiara Squarcina who, together with the Vidal family and all the skills of the Fondazione’s entire workforce, have worked intensely to restore this radically renewed prestigious venue to the city in as short a time as possible.

Walter Hartsarich (President Fondazione Musei Civici di Venezia)