Fondazione Antonio Ratti

The Foundation

In 1985, Antonio Ratti created in Como the non-profit foundation that bears his name, with the desire to share his passion for art and textiles and to preserve his textile collection.

Over the past 30 years, FAR has been supporting and promoting research and experimentation in culture and the arts, including scholars, established and emerging artists in a lively and open environment.

The Foundation, headed by Annie Ratti since 2002, is located in Villa Sucota, an historic building on Lake Como. Here we find Antonio Ratti’s extraordinary collection of antique textiles preserved – with more than 30.000 pieces from across the globe – and a library open to the public with more than 7800 volumes specialized in textiles, fashion, visual arts and crafts.

Every year the program Artists' Research Laboratory (CSAV) is held in this location. It was conceived by Annie Ratti in 1995, with the intention of allowing young international artists to deepen their practices and research through experimentation and dialogue with major figures on the contemporary art scene.

FAR organizes also a wide range of activities, courses, lectures and seminars dedicated to different subjects, from history of textile to theory of art, from cineforum to permaculture.

In addition, FAR proposes exhibitions in which antique textiles from the collection dialogue with contemporary works of art, activating unexpected connections between the two souls of the Foundation.

The spaces of the villa and the surrounding garden – that host site-specific artworks made by a selection of artists who have collaborated with the Foundation – become thus places of encounter and debate platforms where visitors, scholars, entrepreneurs and experts from different fields have the chance to meet and gather in order to expand and deepen their research and influence each other in the process.

Fondazione Antonio Ratti is therefore internationally renowned and is part of a larger network of institutions which exchange and develop ideas together. The location of Villa Sucota – where FAR moved in 2010 becoming part of the Kilometer of Knowledge project – places the Foundation in a wider cultural context in terms of its architecture and location, thus acting as a cultural reference point for the city of Como.

Antonio Ratti

Antonio Ratti – entrepreneur and patron from Como – is part of the great personalities who, after the Second World War, were able to rebuild the Italian industry from a philanthropic and cultural viewpoint.

Born in Como on the 22nd of September 1915, he founded his entrepreneurial activity on the profound conviction that textile is a cultural product. In his vision, experience and knowledge, art and experimentation become fundamental tools not only to understand the current times but also to produce a product of quality.

In 1945 he founded Tessitura Serica Antonio Ratti for the design and retailing of fabrics for silk ties and scarves. It was the first step of a long entrepreneurial activity that culminated in the creation of the Ratti Group – currently chaired by his daughter Donatella – one of the world's leading manufacturers of fabrics designed with creativity and technological research.

A profound attention to the social and cultural context emerges through Antonio Ratti's entrepreneurial activity: in the pioneering building built by Tito Spini in 1958 for Ratti S.p.A., the Palazzina dei Servizi Sociali was used as a canteen during the day and in the evening it hosted concerts, theatre shows, courses and debates for workers.

The need to find inspiration for the creation of new textile designs led him to collect antique fabrics from all over the world. This prestigious collection became in 1985 the heart of a cultural foundation which still bears his name today. Here, in addition to the study and conservation of the textile archive and the collection, the Artists' Research Laboratory (CSAV) course is held every year since 1995. It has become an important reference point for young artists from all over the world, who have the opportunity to deepen their practices in contact with great masters of the contemporary panorama.

His vision, weaving together business and art, creativity and cultural activities, led him not only to be named Cavaliere del Lavoro in 1972, but also to be linked to the greatest cultural institutions such as the Guggenheim, the Museum of Modern Art and the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York, Palazzo Grassi in Venice, Palazzo Reale and the Padiglione d'Arte Contemporanea in Milan.

In particular, in 1995 Antonio Ratti decided to finance the creation of the Antonio Ratti Textile Center at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York. It is a center of conservation, restoration and cataloguing of MET’s collection of textiles, previously gathered in individual departments of the museum. Thus the Antonio Ratti Textile Center at the Metropolitan Museum of Art was born, an incredibly innovative structure dedicated to the study and conservation of textiles.

His daughter, Annie Ratti, succeeded him in the leadership of the Foundation after his death in 2002.

Who we are

Board of Directors

Annie Ratti

Paolo De Santis

Board Members
Stefano Baia Curioni
Candido Manzoni
Ambrogio Cremona Ratti
Daria Caccia Dominioni
Viva Ratti Pistoi
Sebastiano Ratti Pistoi

Monocratic Supervisory Board
Monica Sgarbi

Advisory Board

Annie Ratti

Matteo Augello
Edoardo Bonaspetti
Filippo Guarini
Marta Kuzma
James Lingwood
Dirk Snauwaert


Director Artists’ Research Laboratory
Annie Ratti

Co-Directors Artists’ Research Laboratory
Lorenzo Benedetti
Gregorio Magnani

Curator Visual Art and Culture
Martina Angelotti

Textile Collection & Programme Manager
Maddalena Terragni

General Secretary
Ornella Pizzagalli

Artists' Research Laboratory Coordinator
Martina Redaelli

Security and Logistics Officer
Paolo Nardini

Sara Russo
Viola Bogarelli

Patrizia Fileppi


Please find below the press kits of the most recent projects presented by Fondazione Antonio Ratti.

Antonio’s Dream: A Journey Through Art and Textile Download (PDF)

To receive other materials, further info or to arrange interviews, articles, photo stories or videos:
+39 0313384976


Fondazione Antonio Ratti
Villa Sucota, via per Cernobbio 19
22100 Como – Italy
+39 0313384976

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