THE COLLECTION OF FRANCESCO AND CHIARA CARRARO, VENICE In 1952 Carlo Scarpa was commissioned to redesign the interior of the Museo Correr in Venice, including the display of the art collection. Scarpa reorganized the various spaces of the historic museum, designing pedestals, supports and easels in materials such as stone, steel, wood and glass. Scarpa’s intention was to create a heightened sense between the works of art and the viewer. This would be a completely new and innovative way to display art in public museums. As Michael Brawne writes in his book, The New Museum: Architecture and Display on the Museo Correr’s Bellini room: ”Three of the eight Bellini paintings are on easels, two back to back, the third diagonally opposite the floor; five are on walls and of these, two are at a slight angle, hinged as it were in one side. On entering the room, seven of the paintings can almost be seen at a glance, each clear in its own space. On approach, each picture fills the field of vision, the remainder drop away. And at the end of the sequence, the eighth painting – secular, unrelated in subject to the rest, and most familiar – Gentile Bellini’s life size head of the Doge, is suddenly within view on the last easel”. He states further: “Each of these visual and tactile experiences is intended to sharpen the encounter between object and observer, to make possible a communication between artifact and individual.” Scarpa used these easels throughout his career in many of his museum projects: Museo Correr, Venice, Palazzo Abatellis, Palermo, Museo Castelvecchio, Verona, and Fondatione Querini Stampalia, Venice. Executed by the Zanon brothers in steel and wood, the easel is completely adjustable to the painting and the viewer’s desired height. Most recently the American contemporary artist Carol Bove exhibited Scarpa’s easels, a sculpture (a variant of lot 26) and vitrines alongside her new body of work in the exhibition Carol Bove/Carlo Scarpa, curated by the Henry Moore Institute in Leeds, England and Museion, Bolzano. The exhibition juxtaposed works by Bove alongside works of Carlo Scarpa, exploring the dialogue between the display of objects, art and sculpture.
AN EASEL, DESIGNED CIRCA 1955