Curated by: Loredana Pessa
The exhibition, curated by Loredana Pessa with the artistic direction of Elisabetta Agostino, set up in the exhibition rooms on the second floor of Palazzo Bianco , takes up and develops the theme of collecting eighteenth-century artifacts, presenting the collection of Giuseppe Zerega in the broadest context of history of collecting in Genoa in the nineteenth century and highlighting the particular interest in eighteenth-century decorative arts that characterizes the local environment, almost in contrast to the tastes of the time. For this reason, the tour, after a first section dedicated to the nineteenth- century art market in Genoa and the circulation of eighteenth-century artefacts, takes into consideration two important collections that testify to the passion for the refined production of the Enlightenment: the of the Luxoro family, large and heterogeneous, and that of the British Consul Montague Yeats Brown, dedicated instead exclusively to the world of ceramics.
After the presentation of a selection of the precious furnishings accumulated by the Luxoro, including silver, furniture, watches, prespial figurines, and then the room dedicated to the porcelains that belonged to Yeats Brown, the exhibition culminates with an evocative setting of some of the most interesting dresses from the Zerega collection, real masterpieces of weaving and embroidery.
The fascination exerted by the civilization of the eighteenth century and the attraction for the sumptuary arts are the thin thread that binds these three collections, also united by their final destination to public use, thanks to private patronage, which fortunately prevented the dispersion of a heritage so important.
In conjunction with the opening of the exhibition and in close connection with it, a new permanent exhibition space is opened to the public, dedicated to a collection of precious old clothes, donated to the Municipality in 1917 by the Genoese Giuseppe Zerega. It is a conspicuous patrimony made up of about a hundred pieces, among which a series of eighteenth-century men's clothing stands out, characterized by very high quality embroidery and the use of silky fabrics of refined workmanship, unique testimony of the tastes and fashions in vogue at the eighteenth-century European aristocracy.
The realization of this further important piece of the path of the Strada Nuova Museums was made possible thanks to the support of Villa Montallegro SpA - a nursing home and multi-specialist outpatient center - as part of a vast program of great attention paid to culture, the arts classical and contemporary figurative, traditional or innovative. The leitmotif of this program of support for the territory in which the healthcare reality operates, since its foundation 70 years ago, is the city of Genoa, for which Montallegro is committed to promoting "well-being through culture and a healthy lifestyle" .