The Boschi Di Stefano House Museum

The apartment inhabited by husband and wife Antonio Boschi (1896-1988) and Marieda Di Stefano (1901-1968)

By Boschi Di Stefano House Museum

Room 7 - La scuola di Parigi (Living Room), 2019, From the collection of: Boschi Di Stefano House Museum
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The Boschi Di Stefano House Museum is a museum in the Municipality of Milan which has been open to the public since
2003. The apartment, formerly inhabited by husband and wife Antonio Boschi (1896-1988) and Marieda Di Stefano (1901-1968), hosts an exhibition of around three hundred works, including
paintings, sculptures and furnishings belonging to their collection.

Room 4 - Il Novecento italiano (Guest Room) (2019)Boschi Di Stefano House Museum

The collection is an extraordinary example of twentieth-century Italian art and
reveals many interesting facets of Milan's cultural history from the twenties to the seventies and even slightly beyond.

Boschi Spouses (1951) by Remo BrindisiBoschi Di Stefano House Museum

Antonio Boschi and Marieda Di Stefano

Antonio Boschi and Marieda Di Stefano married in 1927. Antonio, born in Novara in 1896, had moved to Milan at the end of the First World War to attend university at the Politecnico di Milano, where he obtained a degree in engineering. After working in Budapest for a few years, he had returned to Italy to join Pirelli, where he handled the production and manufacturing of rubber.

View of "The Necklace" (1966) by Andrea da Robbio (Marieda Di Stefano)Boschi Di Stefano House Museum

Marieda, born in Milan in 1901 to a family originally from the Marche region, had studied sculpture at the artist Luigi Amigoni's studio. These early influences led her to begin working with ceramics, which became a lifelong passion.

Entrance to the Boschi Di Stefano House Museum (1929-30) by Piero PortaluppiBoschi Di Stefano House Museum

Antonio and Marieda, who met while on holiday in Val Sesia, shared a love of art. Shortly after their wedding, the newlyweds moved into the building at Via Jan 15, built by Marieda's father Francesco Di Stefano under the artistic direction of Piero Portaluppi.
Over time, they amassed a collection of around two thousand works including paintings, sculptures and pieces of ancient art. As friends and supporters of the art world, they embraced the vitality and variety that the city of Milan had to offer and became the owners of many paintings emblematic of Italy's artistic culture.

GiuBo (Boschi Joint), Antonio Boschi, 1960s, From the collection of: Boschi Di Stefano House Museum
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Antonio worked at Pirelli until he reached retirement age. He was to receive award from the company for his long service, which lasted from 1926 to 1965 and was dotted with various important patents such as the GIUBO (a portmanteau of "Giunto Boschi", meaning "Boschi Joint"). This joint consisted of rubber blocks arranged in the shape of a polygon. It helped to absorb the vibrations of the vehicle and was used for the first time in the Alfa Romeo 1900, which was produced between 1950 and 1959.

"Marieda Di Stefano" School of Ceramics - 4th RoomBoschi Di Stefano House Museum

In addition to travelling with her husband, Marieda continued to cultivate her interest in ceramics. From 1953 onwards, she exhibited her sculptures on an almost annual basis at the Montenapoleone Gallery and contributed to numerous collective exhibitions and competitions in cities across Italy. Building on her natural flair and growing recognition, she later opened a School of Ceramics on the ground floor of the apartment block on Via Jan.

Portraits of Marieda Di Stefano and Antonio BoschiBoschi Di Stefano House Museum

Marieda passed away in 1968. Inspired by the love of art that he shared with his wife, Antonio Boschi was to donate their collection of works to the Municipality of Milan in 1974.

Room 6 - Corrente, Morandi, De Pisis (Dining Room) (2019)Boschi Di Stefano House Museum

The first exhibition

The first exhibition of the Boschi Di Stefano collection was held at the Palazzo Reale in 1974, with a show curated by the then Director of Civic Art Collections, Mercedes Precerutti Garberi, who played a crucial role in ensuring that the city of Milan got its hands on such an important collection. At the time, the capital of Lombardy did not yet boast a museum dedicated to twentieth-century art, but it was planning to establish one on the piano nobile of the Palazzo Reale. The CIMAC (Civic Museum of Contemporary Art) was founded in 1984. The museum was temporarily set up on the second floor of the Palazzo Reale while a permanent location was sought. 140 of the works on display in the nascent museum came from the Boschi Di Stefano collection.

Room 1 - I coniugi Boschi (Entrance) (2019)Boschi Di Stefano House Museum

Around the same time, Antonio Boschi made a second donation to the Municipality of Milan on the eve of his death in 1987, which included works acquired after the death of his wife, Marieda. The breadth and unique nature of the collection were such that, alongside a project to establish a museum dedicated to contemporary art (which gradually crystallised into the idea of using the Palazzo dell'Arengario in Piazza Duomo), works began to convert the couple's apartment into a house museum.

Boschi Di Stefano Home: Studiolo (1982) by Gabriele BasilicoBoschi Di Stefano House Museum

The Boschi Di Stefano Museum-Home

The Boschi Di Stefano Museum-Home was inaugurated in 2003. For reasons of conservation and safety, and due to the changes made to the apartment to turn it into a museum, only a selection of the works could be displayed and the original arrangement could not be maintained.

Boschi Di Stefano Home: Antechamber (1982) by Gabriele BasilicoBoschi Di Stefano House Museum

However, the arrangement of the paintings in a sort of picture gallery, covering the walls all the way up to the ceiling, is a faithful representation of how the rooms looked when the Boschi family
still lived there, as demonstrated by a series of photographs taken by Gabriele Basilico.

Boschi Di Stefano Home: Entrance, Gabriele Basilico, 1982, From the collection of: Boschi Di Stefano House Museum
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Room 7 - La scuola di Parigi (Living Room) (2019)Boschi Di Stefano House Museum

The exhibition, curated by Maria Teresa Fiorio, is set up to present the works chronologically, making it more accessible to the public.

Room 5 - Mario Sironi (Small Study) (2019)Boschi Di Stefano House Museum

Save for a few pieces, the furnishings of the House Museum were purchased specially by the Boschi Di Stefano Foundation to match the style of the building and the era in which the collection was founded and developed.

View of a Wall in the 4th RoomBoschi Di Stefano House Museum

The collection

The paintings and sculptures currently on display in the Boschi Di Stefano House Museum are spread throughout eleven rooms dedicated to the Novecento Italiano, Mario Sironi, the Corrente movement, Giorgio Morandi, the School of Paris, Lucio Fontana, the Nuclearists and Spatialists, Informalism, and Piero Manzoni.

Room 5 - Mario Sironi (Small Study), 2019, From the collection of: Boschi Di Stefano House Museum
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Room 5 - Mario Sironi (Small Study) (2019)Boschi Di Stefano House Museum

Room 4 - Il Novecento italiano (Guest Room) (2019)Boschi Di Stefano House Museum

Room 7 - La scuola di Parigi (Living Room), 2019, From the collection of: Boschi Di Stefano House Museum
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Room 7 - La scuola di Parigi (Living Room) (2019)Boschi Di Stefano House Museum

As Antonio Boschi recalled in 1974, the collection stemmed from his association with Marieda Di Stefano

Antonio Boschi's ViolinsBoschi Di Stefano House Museum

«When I met Marieda and discovered the similarities that unconsciously brought us together, it was a classic "coup de foudre". My experience with the plastic arts was limited; my father had guided me towards music and studying the violin, which was and still is one of my passions. What's more, the troubled times of my youth during the First World War followed by two years abroad in Budapest for work had prevented me from focusing on art. Marieda, meanwhile, came from a family from the Marche who had relocated to Milan, so she had the central Italian passion for the plastic arts in her blood. Her father, shaken by the first exhibition of the Novecento movement, had already started a collection of his own, and we inherited some paintings when he passed away. When we married in 1927, it spurred on the passion that we both carried within us, with each of us pushing the other to overcome any concerns about our fairly modest household budget, which was that of a young engineer working for a major manufacturer».

Portrait of Marieda Boschi (1929) by Cesare MontiBoschi Di Stefano House Museum

The artists

The Boschi family acquired many of the works in their collection thanks to the direct relationships that they struck up with artists. Their relationship with Morandi is a perfect example: "Having secured an appointment through friends, Marieda went to the fateful Via Fondazza in Bologna one day. That evening, I went to wait for her at the station and saw her arrive with three paintings, all of excellent quality!  Not only that, but she'd made an agreement with Morandi that Kissinger would have been proud of! "Write to me in three months and I'll make you a promise." The promise came: "In six months, I'll give you a painting." He kept his word to the letter. And so it was to continue. Once he gave Marieda two paintings and told her: "Name your price." Sheepishly, Marieda put down three thousand lire. "That's too much, that's too much," Morandi responded, handing back a thousand lire. Many critics and collectors visited that studio, and I think they all felt the charm of the silence in that little courtyard, which was Morandi's world. I once saw it under a blanket of snow, and it was more enchanting than ever."

College Girls, Arturo Martini, c. 1927, From the collection of: Boschi Di Stefano House Museum
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Arturo Martini, Carlo Carrà, Mario Sironi and Lucio Fontana were frequent visitors to the building on Via Jan, while the couple were very early exponents of the Corrente movement, hence the presence in the collection of the earliest works by Birolli, Cassinari, Paganin and Migneco...

Room 4 - Il Novecento italiano (Guest Room) (2019)Boschi Di Stefano House Museum

Room 6 - Corrente, Morandi, De Pisis (Dining Room) (2019)Boschi Di Stefano House Museum

Room 6 - Corrente, Morandi, De Pisis (Dining Room) (2019)Boschi Di Stefano House Museum

Room 9 - Lucio Fontana (Study of Antonio Boschi), 2019, From the collection of: Boschi Di Stefano House Museum
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Room 10 - Postcubisti, Nucleari, Spazialisti (Study of Marieda Di Stefano) (2019)Boschi Di Stefano House Museum

...followed by Morlotti, Dova, Ajmone, Chighine, Bergolli, Crippa, etc.

Room 11 - L'Informale e Manzoni (Bedroom), 2019, From the collection of: Boschi Di Stefano House Museum
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Room 5 - Mario Sironi (Small Study) (2019)Boschi Di Stefano House Museum

A unique atmosphere

To this day, visitors to the Boschi Di Stefano House Museum can still get a sense of the events that led to the birth of the collection. A fascinating place with a unique atmosphere where every detail is designed to recreate the style of an era, the Boschi Di Stefano House Museum immerses visitors in a reality unlike any other museum.

Room 7 - La scuola di Parigi (Living Room) (2019)Boschi Di Stefano House Museum

As one moves through the rooms of the second-floor apartment in the prominent building designed by architect Piero Portaluppi in the 1920s, the House Museum reveals the profound link between the individual experience of collecting and the history of the land to which it belongs.

Entrance to the Boschi Di Stefano House Museum, Piero Portaluppi, 1929-32, From the collection of: Boschi Di Stefano House Museum
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The story featured may in some cases have been created by an independent third party and may not always represent the views of the institutions, listed below, who have supplied the content.
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