Damiani:
90 Years of excellence and passion 

01/12/2023 - 03/23/2023

EVENTS

The events section gathers a selection of exhibitions, organized in Italy and abroad, dedicated to goldsmithery from Valenza. The peculiarity of the individual exhibitions makes it possible to provide different interpretations of Valenza's goldsmithing tradition in relation to specific critical and curatorial choices.

 

This space will also be used to communicate future initiatives related to the history of the city's goldsmithery.

Fragile Bellezza ("Fragile Beauty")
contemporary art and jewelry
curated by Lia Lenti and Domenico Maria Papa

21/12/2020 - 27/02/2021

The part of the Fragile Bellezza exhibition dedicated to collaborations between contemporary artists and goldsmiths in Valenza should have been inaugurated in the 2020 spring. The pandemic, which stopped everything and everyone, also made the opening of this exhibition impossible.

 

The desire of the organizers was to make the works created with such passion by artists and crafted by the companies involved in the project enjoyable, in spite of the period of shutdown and restrictions.

 

The exhibition has been remade from a physical show into a virtual tour accessible through the portal www.archiviorafivalenza.it. The visitor will move virtually within the space of the Oratorio di San Bartolomeo, where the exhibition has been set up, and access many extra contents such as video interviews with the project's protagonists, 3-D scans of the works and a live set of Projec-TO, which they created with images and sounds captured inside one of the goldsmiths' workshops in Valenza.

 

The interrupted project is thus recomposed, just like in the art of kintsugi.

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The keys to the city ("Le chiavi della città") 2020 Award
by the Department for Culture and Equal Opportunities
Palazzo Valentino, Centro Comunale di Cultura, Valenza (AL)

25/07/2020

On Saturday 25th July 2020 at Palazzo Valentino - Centro Comunale di Cultura the evening ceremony for the awarding of the Key to the City Prize was held. This third edition of the award, conceived in 2018 on the proposal of the Cultural and Equal Opportunities Councillor Costanza Zavanone, is awarded to the merit of women from Valenza. In 2020, three internationally renowned artists who have distinguished themselves in their respective fields, bringing the genius loci from Valenza of "thinking with their hands" far beyond the city's borders. Receiving The Keys to the City 2020 were Ilenia Corti, Marzia Migliora and Laura Rivalta. During the soirée, Councillor Zavanone told about the careers and lives of three women who have reached the pinnacle of Italian and international art and design, dialoguing with the protagonists.

Fragile Bellezza ("Fragile Beauty") - gold and the precious material of art
 

edited by Lia Lenti and Domenico Maria Papa
 

18/12/2019 - 25/01/2020

In Japan an ancient technique, called Kintsugi, is used to repair everyday objects using gold or silver. After breaking, the work of recomposition makes the object even more precious thanks to the gold, thus taking on an unprecedented aesthetic meaning.

In "Fragile Bellezza. Gold and the precious material of art", Kintsugi represents the beginning of a consideration on the relationship between beauty and fragility, in which the very symbolism of gold, which has always expressed durability and persistence, is in this case associated with lightness, transience and transformation.

The project explores themes such as the connection between frailty and beauty, everyday materials and precious ones, the search for beauty as an ethical choice in everyday life, and the symbolic and cultural significance of gold in the fickle cultures of contemporary societies.

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Paolo Spalla, Jewellery and Sculptures 1935-2010
by Lia Lenti
Palazzo Valentino, Centro Comunale di Cultura, Valenza (AL)

22/12/2018 - 03/02/2019

The exhibition, curated by Lia Lenti, was organised by the Culture Department of the Municipality of Valenza as part of the initiatives promoted for the conservation, promotion and protection of the historical memory of the city's goldsmithing tradition, also through some of its protagonists. The exhibition, which was organised with the support of the CRAL and CRT Foundations, retraced, thanks to a studied layout, the material and formal research carried on by Paolo Spalla parallel to that of the goldsmith and sculptor. As a designer, goldsmith and sculptor, the artist from Valenza established the company Spalla & Ferraris in 1959 with Gian Piero Ferraris and Albino Nano. In 1965 Francesca Bellingeri joined the company as a new member and its name was changed to Ferraris & C. Nature, especially the light, the transparency of the water, the shape of the stones of the river Po are the elements that inspired the creativity of the maestro. The search for materials fascinated Spalla, who used them in his goldsmith's work dialoguing with gold and precious stones. Among the humble materials he used to express his creativity we find wood, pebbles, leather, ceramics, shells and plexiglass. The material research is thus combined with that of pure and simple forms reflecting an intimate and deep feeling for the artist.

Gioielli su carta ("Jewellery on paper") - Golden riches between drawings and postcards from Valenza to Italy
 
Palazzo Valentino - Centro Comunale di Cultura
10/11/2018 - 01/12/2018

The exhibition, curated by Walter Fochesato and Riccardo Massola, was sponsored by the Department of Culture as part of the initiatives linked to the www.archiviorafivalenza.it portal project. The initiative was realized thanks to the support of the Regione Piemonte and the Foundation Cassa di Risparmio of Alessandria.

 

For the first time, the exhibition gathers the rarest and most fascinating images of historical and artistic value depicting jewellery and goldsmith's works. Among them are postcards, advertising pamphlets, figurines - dating back to the end of the nineteenth century and the beginning of the twentieth century - featuring multiple types of jewellery.

 

Alongside this material, coming from Walter Fochesato's private collection, are also displayed drawings of jewellery from the archives of some of the goldsmith companies involved in the Archivi Orafi Valenza project. The research, surveying and promotion of Valenza's goldsmiths' archives began in 2016 and has involved about forty companies to date. It is a work aimed at rediscovering and shedding light on a treasured past through documentary evidence and artifacts.

 

For the first time are also exhibited some of the drawings of the Rota Fund, as part of a rich graphic collection preserved in the archives of the Association of Friends of the Museum of Goldsmithery Art that supported the initiative.

 

Finally, on the first floor of Palazzo Valentino, a special section, curated by the Mani Intelligenti Foundation, is dedicated to the way jewellery is sketched and designed today.

 

Exhibition catalogue: Gioielli su carta. Ricchezze dorate fra disegni e cartoline: da valenza all'Italia, Novara, Iterlinea Edizioni, 2018.

Valenza e l'arte del gioiello ("Valenza and the art of Jewellery") - Damiani and the goldsmith tradition / Artists' jewellery
Villa Scalcabarozzi, Valenza (AL)

12/06/2015 - 02/08/2015

Organised in the year of EXPO Milano 2015, the exhibition proposed a journey through the history and tradition of goldsmithery in its multiple expressions.

 

A first section was dedicated to the past and present history of Valenza's goldsmithery. Thanks to the material collected by the Amici del Museo d'Arte Orafa di Valenza Association, it was possible to reconstruct a goldsmith's workshop dating back to the early 20th century, equipped with all the tools and machinery used for gold working. The present of the goldsmith's art is represented by some of the best creations of Valenza's craftsmen.

 

The second section celebrated the ninety years of the Damiani company through a selection of some of the jewels that won the Diamonds International Awards and the Masterpieces.

 

The third and last section was curated by an Italian art historian, politician, and television personality, Vittorio Sgarbi. Dedicated to artistic jewellery, it displayed about fifty pieces of jewellery that were selected, conceived and produced by modern and contemporary artists; some of those jewels had never been exhibited before.

 

Exhibition catalogue: Valenza e l'arte del gioiello, Sardigliano (AL), Nuvole, 2015.

Preziosa Opera ("Precious Work") - Masterpieces of art and goldsmith tradition in Valenza
Villa Scalcabarozzi, Valenza (AL)

14/12/2014 - 25/01/2015

The exhibition, curated by Domenico Maria Papa, was organized according to the model of the ancient Wunderkammer, and offered a journey through the many facets of preciousness, interacting with the traditional goldsmithing tradition of Valenza. The itinerary of the exhibition stretched from the end of the 19th century throughout the 20th century up to the latest generations of artists, carrying out specific research in the field of jewellery production. A succession of paintings, sculptures and precious objects showed how the goldsmithing tradition provided a wonderful terrain and fruitful exchange between the territory and the artists. In the halls of Villa Scalcabarozzi were exhibited, among others, works by Giuseppe Pellizza da Volpedo, Federico Zandomeghi, Giovanni Boldini, Umberto Boccioni, Filippo De Pisis, Giorgio De Chirico, René Magritte, Andy Warhol, Barry X Ball, Luisa Valentini, Enrica Borghi, Antonio De Luca and Nicolai Lilin.

The historical section was supported by the Amici del Museo d'Arte Orafa association of Valenza which, thanks to the material carefully collected over the years, brought together the history of goldsmithing in Valenza.

The exhibition was concluded by the Generazione Valore (" Value Generation") section dedicated to the future of Valenza's goldsmithery. Young students of the High School of Art "Carlo Carrà" wore jewellery made by the students of the goldsmithing school For.AL of Valenza.

Exhibition catalogue: Preziosa Opera: capolavori d'arte e tradizione orafa a Valenza, Novara, Interlinea edizioni, 2014.

The American sculptor Barry X Ball on the occasion of a visit to Valenza for the realization of one of his works in gold. [Ph. Walter Zollino]

Valenza, or, italian jewellery - Discovering Valenza: jewellery, bijouterie and goldsmithery. Italian style during the 20th century.

(Valenza ou la joaillerie italienne - A la découverte de Valenza: joaillerie, bijouterie et orfèvrerie. Le style italien dans le courant du XX siècle)

 

Petit Palais, Musée des Beaux Arts de la Ville de Paris, Paris

 

08/02/2010 - 28/02/2010

The exhibition, curated by Lia Lenti and promoted by the Cassa di Risparmio di Alessandria Foundation, brought to the prestigious Parisian venue some famous jewellery produced in Valenza. The exhibition was divided into three sections.

The first was dedicated to the Bestiary made expressly for the American market by Frascarolo & C. between 1967 and 1971. For the occasion, a selection of preparatory drawings and prototypes in silver were exhibited, which constituted an outfit for the thirty-six masterpieces of goldsmith's art that composed the Bestiary. The jewels, made in gold, enamel and precious stones, all came from private collections. The second section housed eight jewels from Valenza that had won the Diamonds International Awards, the prestigious goldsmithery prize promoted by De Beers. The third section was dedicated to celebrating the exceptional skills of the goldsmiths from Valenza who managed to impose themselves on the global market through creativity, technique and skill. Twenty-four pieces of jewellery were displayed here, providing an overview of the Valenza goldsmithing production from the 1930s to the end of the 1980s.

Exhibition catalogue: Valenza ou la joaillerie italienne, Sardigliano (AL), Nuvole, 2010 (bilingual French-English catalogue).

Luxury Design - Neocodes of luxury & jewellery design
La Triennale di Milano, Milano
18/04/2007 - 23/04/2007

The exhibition, curated by Denis Santachiara, was organized as part of the Salone del Mobile in Milan, one of the most important design-related events in the world. It focused on the past and present of Valenza goldsmithery, reflecting on its possible future. The collaboration between renowned designers and goldsmithing companies from Valenza provided the opportunity to reflect on the evolution of luxury through jewellery, with a selection of prestigious models of hi-tech jewellery and high-tech jewellery.

 

Exhibition catalogue: Luxury design. Neocodici del lusso & design del gioiello, Cinisello Balsamo (MI), Silvana Editoriale, 2007

 

(bilingual Italian - English catalogue).

Il gioiello: la storia, l'arte "Di necessità virtù" (“The jewel: the history, the art "virtue out of necessity ") 
Exhibition of jewellery made from humble materials during the Second World War
For.Al, Valenza (AL) 

2004

The exhibition, curated by Lia Lenti, was an opportunity to present the Ezio Deambrogi Collection containing significant documents and historical objects. The exhibition focused mainly on war jewellery made of humble metals and synthetic stones produced by some of the Valenza goldsmiths starting from September 3rd, 1941, when Italy entered the war and a decree was issued prohibiting the purchase and sale of metals and precious stones. These artifacts became an expression of the talent and skill of the goldsmiths in Valenza, making "virtues out of necessity" in a particularly difficult moment of national and city history.

 

Catalogue of the exhibition: Il gioiello: la Storia l'Arte "Di necessità virtù" - mostra di gioielli realizzati con materiali poveri durante la seconda guerra mondiale, 2004.

Jewellery Awards
1968-1998: the jewellery successes of Valenza
Forum, Beyrouth

06-07/1999 

Exhibition curated by Lia Lenti.

Gillio the Goldsmith artist, 1867-1964 
Palazzo Valentino - Centro Comunale di Cultura
Valenza (AL)

19 aprile-1 giugno/1997

The exhibition, curated by Maria Carla Manenti, was organised by the Centro Comunale di Cultura with the Amici del Museo dell'Arte Orafa Association. The event reconstructed for the first time the portrait of Giuseppe Gillio, a goldsmith with a European standing, author of exquisite jewellery and refined works of goldsmithery. Jewellery, caskets, drawings, photographs and work tools that belonged to Giuseppe Gillio were exhibited. Paintings, sculptures and academic drawings were also presented, testifying that the goldsmith was a fully-fledged maestro who was able to express himself through all artistic means and languages.

Catalogue: Giuseppe Gillio artista orafo, Milan, Skira, 1997

100 years from Italy for the world - Chic from Valenza 

("Aus Italien für die Welt 100 Jahre - Schick aus Valenza)

             

                                                          Leipzig

 

                                                      08-09/1996

The exhibition, curated by Lia Lenti with the contribution of Lidia Cargnino (head of the Civic Library of Valenza), Marco Botta and Franco Fracchia (officials of the Goldsmith Association of Valenza), presented the public with a selection of antique jewellery and unique pieces that have won international recognition. The jewels were made available by Valenza goldsmith companies.

Gioielli e Gioiellieri di Valenza ("Jewels and Jewelers of Valenza") 
Anthology from 1887 to 1975
Palazzo Mostre, Valenza (AL)

04-07/03/1995 

The exhibition, curated by Lia Lenti, was set up in the hall of Palazzo Mostre on the occasion of the opening of the Valenza Fair. In an anthological exhibition from the end of the 1800's up to the 1970's, one hundred and fifty pieces of Valenza jewelry of an exceptional aesthetic and documentary relevance, which had never been exhibited before. Thanks to the selected masterpieces of goldsmithery, it was possible to reconstruct the formal features of Valenza goldsmithing and the reasons for its worldwide importance.

Diamonds International Awards
Valenzani: 1968-1994
Villa Scalcabarozzi, Valenza (AL)

11-12/1995

The exhibition, curated by Lia Lenti, was set up in the Illario Hall of Villa Scalcabarozzi which simultaneously hosted two exhibitions dedicated to Goldsmithery from Valenza commissioned by the Municipality, the Associazione Orafa Valenzana and the Amici del Museo d'Arte Orafa Association. Alongside the historical objects conserved by Amici del Museo, the exhibition collected for the first time nineteen pieces of jewellery from Valenza, which won the prestigious Diamonds International Awards. The exhibition thus highlighted the exceptional creative and manual skills of the Goldsmiths from Valenza.

Oro e Lavoro ("Gold and Labour") 
One hundred years of goldsmithing in Valenza 1840-1940
Centro Comunale di Cultura, Valenza (AL)

29/09/1994 - 18/12/1994 

The exhibition, curated by Maria Grazia Molina and Maria Carla Manenti, was the first step towards a philological investigation and the preservation of the historical memory of Valencian goldsmithery. A high cultural profile path made it possible to get to know and observe hundreds of objects, instruments, tools and documents that narrated the long process of elaboration and creation of the jewel in its different phases. Historical memory was not the only focus of the exhibition, but also the social investigation of a community that was shaped and grew as a result of such a specific and highly qualified productive vocation. The Associazione Amici del Museo d'Arte Orafa di Valenza (Association of Friends of the Museum of Goldsmithery Art in Valenza) has made a fundamental contribution to the creation of the exhibition through objects and tools that have been consciously collected and catalogued over the years in order to keep the prestigious history of the town's goldsmithing tradition alive.

 

Exhibition catalogue: Oro e lavoro. Cento anni di oreficeria in Valenza 1840-1940, Turin, Lindau, 1994.

Dal fiume al banco dell'orafo (“From the river to the goldsmith’s workbench”) 
Collecting gold from the Po Valley and the goldsmith tradition in Valenza
Centro Comunale di Cultura, Valenza (AL)

01-20/10/1987

The exhibition underlined the reasons which explain the conversion of Valenza from an agricultural center to a worldwide point of reference in goldsmithery. Starting from a territorial analysis of the Po Valley and the centuries-long tradition of collecting gold, the exhibition simultaneously examined the local production reality as one of the most relevant places for gold processing and described the educational background, evolution and success of Valenza-based goldsmithery. The show symbolically opened in the year of the centenary of death of the goldsmith Vincenzo Morosetti.

 

Catalogue: Dal fiume al banco dell’orafo. La raccolta dell’oro in Val Padana e la tradizione dell’oreficeria valenzana, Valenza, Comune, 1987.

Manualità (“Hand skills”)
Artisan cities: Faenza, Gubbio, Valenza, Venice, Volterra - Travelling show

06-12/1980

The exhibition focused on several italian artisan realities highlighting the historical tradition of processing different materials. Pottery from Faenza, wrought iron from Gubbio, goldsmithery from Valenza, Murano glass from Venice were the protagonists of this travelling show.

 

Catalogue: Manualità. Città dell’artigianato: Faenza, Gubbio, Valenza, Venezia, Volterra, Milano, Electa, 1980.

BIBLIOTECA CIVICA
CENTRO COMUNALE DI CULTURA


Piazza XXXI Martiri - 15048 Valenza (AL)
Biblioteca: telefono 0131-949286 - Centro Comunale di Cultura: 0131-949287 / Fax 0131-946082

 

e-mail: biblioteca@comune.valenza.al.it / PEC: cultura@cert.comune.valenza.al.it

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