Untitled [Maquette for the Olivetti Showroom, New York City, NY]

Costantino Nivola1953

Magazzino Italian Art

Magazzino Italian Art
Cold Spring, United States

Of the compositions developed for the entire wall, Untitled [Maquette for the Olivetti Showroom, New York City, NY] comes closest to the full-scale version that was installed in the Olivetti Showroom, NY, in 1954. The design takes into account the architecture of the space, indicating that Nivola was thinking about the work in situ: on the right-hand side of the panel, the artist includes the outline of an area corresponding to the position of the doorframe and the mezzanine platform that met the wall. The design and arrangement of figures, as well as the large decorative central section corresponds to the full-scale version of the work. Nivola was experimenting with a more muted palette: color is applied more sparsely compared to the earlier designs and used only to highlight elements of the composition, such as the decorative panel. When the full-scale work was realized, the sandcast was left unpainted to maintain a sense of balance in the space. The work was given to Dino Olivetti, described as Olivetti’s ‘most American son,’ who oversaw the launch of Olivetti in America. The work remained in Dino Olivetti’s collection until 1974, when it was donated to the Addison Collection of American Art by Dino’s wife Posy Olivetti (neé Rosamond Castle). Posy attended Abbot Academy, an independent all-girl’s boarding school, which merged with the Phillips Academy in 1973.


  • Title: Untitled [Maquette for the Olivetti Showroom, New York City, NY]
  • Creator: Costantino Nivola
  • Creator Lifespan: 1911/1988
  • Date Created: 1953
  • Physical Dimensions: 19 1/8 x 93 3/8 x 2 3/8 in.
  • Rights: Addison Gallery of American Art, Phillips Academy, Andover, MA, gift of Mrs. Dino Olivetti, 1974.6
  • Medium: Polychromed sandcast plaster (positive relief)

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