Fondazione Antonio Ratti

Collecting Textiles

20–21 September 2012
FAR – Villa Sucota

The Ratti family and Foundation recalled the tenth anniversary of the demise of Antonio Ratti (1915-2002) with an international symposium dedicated to textile collecting. The symposium was structured around three thematic sessions:

  • the figure of the textile collector, its passions and interests;
  • the birth and identity of the textile museums;
  • the problematics of exhibiting these very particular artifacts.

Annie Ratti, President of the Foundation, opened the encounter followed by that of the local authorities. Afterwards Francina
Chiara reflected about the formation of the textile collection of Antonio Ratti, that actually constitutes FAR's collection. The symposium counted with the presence of representatives of renowned museums, such as the Metropolitain Museum of New York, whose former Director Tom Campbell (the first Director of the Antonio Ratti Textile Center of the museum), went through the key relation between Antonio Ratti and MET. The afternoon of the first day was dedicated to the figure of the collector, and saw the participation of Annette Schiek from the Deutsche Textilmuseum of Krefeld, Aurélie Samuel of the Musée Guimet of Paris and Paola Ruffino of the Museo Civico d'Arte Antica of Turin who, through textile collections of different contexts and epochs, as those of Jakob Krauth, Krishna Riboud and Riccardo Gualino, illustrated the collections of their museums. Seth Siegelaub, multifaceted collector of contemporary art, books and textiles, closed the afternoon reflecting about the contemporary motivations for building a collection.

On the morning of the 21st of September, the theme was the birth of textile museums, through the interventions of Angela Völker of the MAC of Vienna and Jacqueline Jacquè, from the Musée de l'impression sure Etoffes of Mulhouse, figures of reference for their respective museums; Eulalia Morral i Romeu of CMDT of Terrasa and Filippo Guarini of the Textile Museum of Prato talked about the relationship between institutions and its direct textile production areas.
The final session focused on the complex problem of the exhibition of textiles, fragile artifacts from the example of the historical display of the Musée des Tissus of Lyon, represented by its Director Maximilien Durand, to the experience of Magdalena Droste, the famous researcher of the Bauhaus, to conclude with the testimony of Sonnet Stanfill, who analyzed how the Victoria and Albert Museum was increasing the presentation of textiles in its fashion exhibitions.

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