idea to create in Verona a museum Foundation located
in the Miniscalchi palace, transforming the noble dwelling
into a museum, matured in the first half of the 1950s
in the last representative of the family, the count
Mario. The count, without direct offspring, wanted to
preserve to the town dignity, from a loss otherwise
inevitable, both the ancient abode and the collections
pertaining to the art and history in them preserved,
ideally linking up to the ancient and glamorous examples
of the Foundations Poldi Pezzoli of Milan, Querini Stampalia
of Venice, Horne and Stibbert of Florence.
The count Mario Miniscalchi, by his own will, obliged
his sole heiress, his brother Emil's daughter, to establish
a Foundation with instructive and cultural purpose to
be named " Miniscalchi-Erizzo Museum". To
her he left as a legacy the ancestral palace in via
San Mammaso and the majestic building in classical style
in via Giuseppe Garibaldi, as well as part of the furniture
and the collections of historical, artistic and archaeological
interest there contained, also setting the standards
of the statute which should have run the Foundation.
The whole testamentary device was subordinated in usufruct
on behalf of the count's wife. He died on 12 November
1957. Thanks to the assiduous interest of the architect
prof. Piero Gazzola, at that time Superintendent to
the Monuments of Verona, the Foundation " Miniscalchi-Erizzo
Museum ", which had been founded on 30 April 1964,
was established as a moral body by the President of
the Italian Republic by decree no. 694 on 30 April 1965.
of the wedding between
Marcantonio Miniscalchi and Teresa Moscardo (1785):
the bride brought as a dowry what remained of the home
museum of her grandfather Ludovico Moscardo.
Foundation became juridically operating, entering into
possession of the property linked to it, at the death
of the count Mario's widow on 25 March 1977.
The original, fascinating hypothesis to create a milieu
museum soon proved impossible to be realized both for
the very small number of the furnishings and of the
home furniture complements linked to the Foundation
and for their heterogeneity. The attention, then, moved
more markedly on the collections handed down. Thanks
to a difficult preliminary filing of the objects it
was possible to put together the imposing material within
some main sections: ancient graphics, Renaissance bronze
studies, sacred art, archaeology, ancient weapons and
armours, decorative arts, numismatics and seal studies,
painting, furniture, books, archives. Besides, each
section was in its turn articulated in relation to both
the typology and the chronology of the objects in exhibition.
It's of use to specify, at this point, the origin of
the collections arrived at the Foundation. It's about
eclectic collections, differently joined in the Miniscalchi
family during more than three centuries. The main and
oldest nucleus is represented by a great deal of objects
which belonged to the home "museum" - today
it is defined cabinet des merveilles - of Ludovico Moscardo
(Verona, 1611-1681). There are moreover other origin
nuclei sending back to families which were historically
related to the Miniscalchi family, such as the Erizzo
and the Pullè families.
Remains of the frescoes of the XIII and XIVc.
in a passage of the ground floor.
clear, consequently, that a " Miniscalchi-Erizzo
Museum " has never existed, since the collections
reach the palace through the mechanisms, often complex,
of the hereditary successions among noble families and
they are not linked to the personality of a sole collector,
to his choices, to his taste.
You can, therefore, understand the eclectic character
of the collections and you can guess the long philologic
work done to search, within the collections themselves,
for some leading threads, which, if followed, could
help to create a real brand new museum, thanks to what
had variuosly been handed down during the centuries.
Once sketched the organic plan of the sections of the
in progress museum, it became necessary a not less careful
consideration about the relation between the container
- that is to say the palace rooms, inhabited by the
family up to 1977 - and the contents, in order to harmonically
integrate the one with the others, without forgetting,
in the plan of scientific arrangement of the collections,
to preserve as much as it is possible the flavour of
the noble dwelling to the rooms which during the centuries
had carried out residential functions.
The Miniscalchi Museum was solemnly inaugurated on 30
March 1990 after long years of work, which saw the Foundation
involved on several fronts: the architectural and room
restorations, the artistic ones, the preparations, the
equipment of plants according to law which were necessary
in the palace transformation from private house into
place open to the public; the whole passing through
the gradual requalification of its own real property,
the income of which the foundation gives the resources
that allow the working of the museum itself.
The Foundation Board of directors
Bonifacio Spinola Miniscalchi-Erizzo.
Appointed by the Academy of Agriculture Sciences and
Arts of Verona.
As a representative of the Prefect of the capitular
library of Verona.
Superintendent of the architectural and environmental
property of Verona, Vicenza and Rovigo.
Alessandra Imperiali Giusti del Giardino
Appointed by the members of the Giusti del Giardino
Gian Paolo Marchini.