Curated by: Loredana Pessa
The exhibition, curated by Loredana Pessa with the artistic direction of Elisabetta Agostino, set up in the exhibition rooms of 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 broader context of history of collecting in Genoa in the nineteenth century and highlighting the particular interest in the eighteenth-century decorative arts that characterizes the local environment, almost in contrast with the tastes of the time. For this reason, the visit route, after a first section dedicated to the nineteenth-century art market in Genoa and the circulation of 18th century artefacts, takes into consideration two important collections that testify to the passion for the refined production of the Lumi century: that of the Luxoro family, large and heterogeneous, and that of the British Consul Montague Yeats Brown, dedicated exclusively to the world of ceramics. After the presentation of a selection of the precious furnishings accumulated by Luxoro, including silverware, furniture, clocks, presbytery statues, and subsequently to the room dedicated to porcelain belonging to Yeats Brown, the exhibition culminates with an evocative display of some of the most interesting clothes from the Zerega collection, true masterpieces of weaving and embroidery.
The fascination exerted by the 18th century civilization and the attraction for sumptuary arts are the subtle thread that links these three collections, united also 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 ancient clothes, donated to the Municipality in 1917 by the Genoese Giuseppe Zerega. It is a conspicuous patrimony made up of a hundred pieces, among which a series of eighteenth-century male garments stands out, characterized by extremely high-quality embroideries and by the use of silk 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 Strada Nuova Museum route was made possible thanks to the support of Villa Montallegro S.p.A. - nursing home and outpatient polyspecialist center - as part of a vast program of great attention paid to culture, classical and contemporary, traditional or innovative figurative arts. The leitmotif of this support program for the territory in which the health 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" .