The 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.



Allegorical representation 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.

 

The 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.

 

It's 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
Chairman

Bonifacio Spinola Miniscalchi-Erizzo.

Directors
Vittorio Castagna
Appointed by the Academy of Agriculture Sciences and Arts of Verona.


Antonio Zamboni
As a representative of the Prefect of the capitular library of Verona.

Ruggero Boschi
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 family.

Curator
Gian Paolo Marchini.

 

 


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