Boschi Di Stefano House Museum
Via Giorgio Jan 15, Milan
In a quiet street behind Corso Buenos Aires, two minutes walking from the Best Western Hotel City, there is Boschi di Stefano House Museum that houses more than three hundred works of art of the twentieth century collected with great dedication and passion by the spouses Antonio Boschi (1899 -1988) and Marieda di Stefano (1901-1968).
The exhibition itinerary winds inside the house where the couple lived for more than forty years and, passing from room to room, while admiring the works of Sironi, De Chirico, Martini, De Pisis, Fontana and more, you are caressed by a intimate and welcoming atmosphere made of fine 1930s furnishings (partly original, partly added later), parquet and mosaic floors, ceilings decorated with concentric frames, glass doors and windows with geometric patterns, among which a particular bow window stands out, in an overall harmony that immediately drags the visitor into another time...
It was 1929 when the builder of Marche origins Francesco Di Stefano commissioned Piero Portaluppi, the most fashionable Milanese architect of the moment, to design an entire building in Via Jan, behind Corso Buenos Aires, a neighborhood increasingly requested by the Milanese bourgeoisie for its quiet and central location. Portaluppi's style is recognized in the sober geometric decorations of the facade, in the use of wrought iron for the railings of the staircase, as well as in the particular windows positioned at 45 ° on the corner of the building.
Marieda Di Stefano came to live there with her husband, engineer Antonio Boschi, in 1931. The two met during a vacation in Valsesia in 1926 and immediately fell in love. United by a strong artistic sensitivity, they married a year later and began an artistic partnership which led them over a lifetime to collect more than 2000 works, including paintings, furnishings, drawings and sculptures, purchased in various parts of Europe and the world, selected from famous and emerging artists, always in search of a concordance of tastes and choices. Each new painting was hung on the walls of the house until, with the enrichment of the collection, even the areas near the door jambs were occupied by artworks.
While the passion for collecting grew, the two spouses established friendship with painters and gallery owners and, in the years that followed, the second floor of the Boschi di Stefano house became a meeting place for the artistic scene of the moment, who met there to talk about art and new trends and also to entertain with the music of the piano in the living room or the violin (a small collection of which is also kept in the museum).
In the meantime, on the ground floor of the same building, Marieda had managed to create a ceramic workshop, in which art she herself was well versed - as shown by her anthropomorphic vases on display - and to give life to a small but industrious formation School. This part of the house can also be visited and today houses some works by Roberto Crippa.
Among the more than 300 artworks exhibited in the house museum, there are some of particular strength, such as "The Venus of the ports" and "The fairy of the mountain" by Sironi, "Eldorado" and "The great mystics" by Birolli, "The head of an old man "by Boccioni," The school of gladiators "by De Chirico, the numerous" Spatial Concepts" by Fontana, the sculptures" The collegials "and" The victory "by Arturo Martini and many others, set up in eleven rooms according to a chronological order that allows the visitor to appreciate the various moments and souls of twentieth century art.
On the death of his beloved Marieda, Antonio worked to rearrange the immense collection and make it accessible to the public; in 1974 he donated it, together with the rooms and part of the furnishings, to the Municipality of Milan. And as he himself wrote: “The collection was the joint work of my wife Marieda and mine, and therefore its name Boschi Di Stefano is not a tribute to the memory of my partner, but corresponds to reality. The collection was a common work in the total sense: in the material one with the implications of decisions, of application, of financial sacrifices and consequent renunciations in other fields; and in the artistic one as concordances of tastes, addresses, choices ".
Visiting the House Museum is a unique experience that allows the visitor to understand the events and the artistic spirit of an entire century and to savor its atmosphere still intact.
The Museum House can be visited for free; Touring volunteers are present on site and provide a valuable introduction to visiting the house.
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