Damiani celebrates Italian savoir-faire with a grand exhibition at Palazzo Reale, Milan, from 22 March to 18 April 2017
Enrico Grassi Damiani undertook an extraordinary trip through the excellence of Italian quality products when he opened his goldsmith’s workshop in Valenza more than 90 years ago in 1924. And Damiani is unveiling an exclusive trip through the history of Italian creativity and the secrets of fine manufacturing in the notable exhibition at Palazzo Reale, Milan, from 22 March. A project with great cultural value, retracing the most significant stages in the evolution of Italian traditions, displaying the precious creations of the company brought together for the first time.
The exhibition was developed in the sphere of co-operation between the Municipality of Milan – Culture and Damiani and is connected with the history of the Palazzo which, sold by the Savoias to the city of Milan after the First World War, was initially intended to be a museum of decorative arts, an idea subsequently abandoned to the advantage of the figurative arts.
Damiani has staged an exhibition concept of great impact to accompany the visitor in the discovery of Italian savoir-faire through the company’s jewels, one of the finest testimonies of Italian goldsmith’s art in the world. The unique pieces are the result of the passion and skilled craftsmanship that the company founder passed on to his grandchildren Guido, Giorgio and Silvia Damiani, just as the master goldsmiths have passed them on to the new generations.
Damiani presents an artistic heritage of exceptional value in the exhibition with an evocative path through the Sale degli Arazzi on the Piano Nobile of the Palazzo, which once housed the royal apartments. The history of Italian traditions is unveiled, epoch by epoch, through the company’s jewelry and the masterpieces that received the most authoritative awards in jewelry. It concludes with a sophisticated and unexpected tribute to Queen Margherita, the first sovereign of united Italy, who often lived in Palazzo Reale during her reign.
In the first room, Damiani reiterates its role of keen observer of the evolutions in taste and key player in the artistic avant-garde of each era, narrating the contribution that quality craftsmanship continues to offer Italian culture through ten jewels, each inspired by a decade in the history of the company and taken from the original drawings. The collection starts with Charleston, chosen to represent the 1920s, and passes through Cascade (1930s), Legend (1940s), Tassel (1950s), Optical (1960s), Bloom (1970s), Tribute (1980s) Moonshine (1990s) and D.Side (2000), and is completed by Damianissima, the symbol of the first decade of the new millennium. Damiani jewels are design pieces which are still conceived and created entirely by hand in the workshops in Valenza.
The trip through Italian savoir-faire, which Damiani interprets with great skill, continues in the second room of the show. Here, a setting of great visual impact exalts the splendour of the 18 unique works by the company (including Eden, Bloody Mary and Sahara) which received the Diamonds International Award, the jewelry Oscar, for their features of manufacturing quality, innovation and stylistic interpretation. Damiani is the only jeweler in the world to have won this prestigious award 18 times and continues to set the standards in terms of elegance, style, design and originality, turning each jewel into an enlightened inspiration.
An absolute preview greets the visitor in the last room. A new collection labelled Damiani represents the perfect meeting between the goldsmith’s tradition of Valenza and the language of contemporary design, Italian history and the contemporary world, and artistic inspiration and technological innovation. This is the Margherita collection inspired by Umberto I’s consort, to whom Enrico Grassi Damiani dedicated a jewel in the early years of the 20th century, revived in a new interpretation. The Margherita range has been created taking up the original sketches and evokes Italian historic heritage and the origins of that craftsmanship which enabled Damiani to become official supplier of the Royal House of Savoy.
Guido Damiani, president of the Damiani group commented, “Damiani is reaffirmed as a leading player in Italian culture around the world with this important exhibition. The company reiterates its commitment to conserving and valorising fine manufacture made in Italy, meaning a tool necessary for the creation of quality artistic jewelry. Damiani is the only international goldsmith’s company still run by the founder’s family and this allows us to draw on an extraordinary heritage that makes our jewelry collections unique. In this exhibition, we want to highlight the relationship that has always existed between Italian culture and our history of tradition – an extraordinary pairing that companies like Damiani have contributed to defining.”
A CENTURY OF EXCELLENCE AND PASSION
The evolution of Italian tradition through Damiani’s jewelry
22 March-18 April 2017
Piazza Duomo 12, Milan