In the spaces of the Chinese Cabinet and the Little Wardrobe on the first floor, twenty-four literary, poetic and theatrical texts tell the art of bookbinding through inventive, surprising and technically complex bindings, created by LucianoFagnola, Master Binder and restorer of books and manuscripts.
Among the works on display stand out the Divine Comedy by Dante Alighieri, the Canticle of the Creatures by Francesco d'Assisi, the Pinocchio by Carlo Collodi, the Marriage of Figaro by Pierre-Augustin Caron de Beaumarchais, but also the Travels of Gulliver by Jonathan Swift and the Stories by Edgar Allan Poe, assembled and "covered" by complex and refined bindings, created by Luciano Fagnola based on projects and sketches created by artists such as Francesco Casorati, Ugo Nespolo and Guido Giordano, or by young talents such as Irene Bedino, Luca Bosio , Samantha Farina and Elena Rivolta.
Luciano Fagnola has transformed graphic projects into leather artifacts, real unique pieces thanks to the use of different materials and techniques: inlay or mosaic work, coloring and gilding, and sometimes the presence of metal inserts.
All the books come from the collections of Livio Ambrogio, a bibliophile and collector from Turin: as Ernst Collin recalls in one of the texts on display, From the art bookbinder . Brief dialogue between the bibliophile and his art binder , published in Berlin in 1922, each work is the result of a happy and constant exchange of views between the collector and the artist, which leads to the creation and creation of an ever-changing decoration , phantasmagoric and multi-material.
In line with the vocation of Palazzo Madama as a museum of decorative arts, the exhibition is a reminder of the museum's historical collection of ancient bindings, full of about 300 specimens and partly exhibited on the second floor of the building.
The exhibition is also a tribute to Francesco Malaguzzi, illustrious scholar and great friend of the Civic Museum of Turin, whose ancient and modern bindings he has studied for many years with tenacity, passion and competence, giving in 2011 a masterful systematic catalog.
The exhibition catalog, curated by Livio Ambrogio and Luciano Fagnola, contains technical contributions and bindings by Paola Fagnola, as well as bibliographic files by Margherita Palumbo.