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Una sala della Collezione Vismara

 Vismara Collection
This collection – a small treasure of around forty works – was donated to the Municipality of Milan in 1975, by the wife of the collector, who had recently passed away. Giuseppe Vismara (1903–1975) was one of the numerous businessmen in Milan who resumed and continued, after World War II, the tradition of collecting modern art which had characterized the middle classes of Milan between the wars and which today enriches, thanks to generous donations and bequeaths, some key civic museums.?His passion for art quickly grew, and he was able to visit, during his work trips, many European museums. In 1939, he had a decisive encounter with the art dealer Gino Ghiringhelli, who was in charge of the prestigious Galleria del Milione along with his brother, Peppino. This gallery, located in Brera, in the heart of Milan, was, starting in the 1930s, the focus of avant-garde research and had the most fertile exchange with European art. Besides being his advisor and dealer, Ghiringhelli was helpful in exposing Vismara to new friends among the art crowd. In fact, Vismara often bought their works directly in their studios. This collection reflects attentive and never banal choices. It is especially unique for some international artists – Modigliani, Dufy, Matisse, and Picasso, among others. As regards Italy, Vismara’s choices were influenced by the criteria of modernity and were informed by international art. Special attention (quite uncommon for a Milanese collector) was given to artists from the so-called Ca’ Pesaro group, with quite rare presences for collections of the time, like Gino Rossi and Pio Semeghini. Other choices by Vismara are also in line with this and were often in contrast with much Italian art at the time, which was more related to tradition: this is how we may interpret the works of Filippo De Pisis, Giorgio Morandi, and the late paintings of Mario Sironi. The selection of Italian artists finally culminates with another “irregular” artist – Arturo Tosi, Giuseppe Vismara’s close friend. Since 2014, the  Vismara Collection has been on display on the second floor of Villa Reale, alongside the Grassi Collection, the installation of which was designed in the 1950s by the architect Ignazio Gardella and is today totally restored. Both collections, similar in their preference for international artists and avant-garde choices, can be admired in a space that heightens their modernity and elegance.

Further information:

R. Ghiazza (a cura di), La collezione Vismara, Skira, Milano 2003


A. Oldani (a cura di), Guida alle Collezioni Grassi e Vismara, Editore Allemandi & C., Torino 2014