Una Wunderkammer Ottocentesca

Itineraries among the collector rarities of Frederick Stibbert

From 06 May 2016 to 16 October 2016


From 6 May to 16 October 2016 the Stibbert Museum of Florence hosts 'Una Wunderkammer Ottocentesca. An itinerary amongst the collector rarities of Frederick Stibbert', an exhibition dedicated to the great collector of British art which will give offer visitors a unique journey through the history of distant worlds.

Already aligned with the previous exhibitions in Florence of the Stibbert Museum aimed at promoting and enhancing the collections of Frederick Stibbert, this current exhibition in Florence aims at highlighting his eclectic taste and documenting the evolution of the European trends and the Eastern and Middle Eastern civilizations. 
Sculptures, glass, paintings, weapons and various objects found during the restoration of the museum: Frederick Stibbert is told through his collections where each piece on display is a small part of him.

WHO IS FREDERICK STIBBERT? He is the protagonist of one of the most interesting current exhibitions in Florence. Following the anti-Napoleonic campaigns, the Stibbert wealthy family, originating from Norfolk, after moving to Italy, settled in Florence where Thomas Stibbert married the young Tuscan Giulia Cafaggi and where, in 1838, Frederick Stibbert was born: the intertwining of the British, Anglo-Indian and Italian cultures affected in a decisive way his training and his future choices. One of the main contributions to the tradition of the family was a silver medal he obtained for being enlisted amongst the Garibaldi Guides for the campaign of Trentino in 1966.

He inherited the enormous family fortune in 1859, ran it flawlessly and with great passion, constantly increasing it thanks to his intuition and wise investments. His professional position, combined with a passion for travel and collecting, allowed him to control the entire European art market for almost 50 years and to realize the dream of his life: to transform Villa Montughi -which he inherited from the mother - in 'his' museum
With the intention of creating something educational for young people and to stimulate an interest in the history of costumes, he began his collection of material from all over the world by spending considerable amounts of money but without neglecting his business, so much so that he managed to keep almost intact his entire assets.
After the death of Federick Stibbert in 1906 and according to his will, Villa Montughi and its collection - consisting of more than 50,000 pieces - gave rise to the Stibbert Museum for the public and entrusted to the city of Florence.

The collection of Federick Stibbert is really extraordinary: the amount of the finds he collected during his many trips to Europe and the Orient, or by visiting the Universal Exhibition like the one held in London in 1851, bears witness to his determination to transform Villa Montughi in Florence into a large international museum that tells history not only through fashion - both military and civilian - but also through other forms of art.

Always looking for new styles, Federick Stibbert also designed some furniture and had it built by expert Tuscan artisans: the most famous are two thrones with rich backs in the Gothic style dated 14th and 15th century and placed in the Cavalcade Room and two massive glass cabinets which hold the collection of sacred gold installed in that Hall of the Leader, which reopens after a careful and meticulous restoration on the occasion of the Florence exhibition in 2016 of Federick Stibbert.


THE EXHIBITION. The various sections that comprise the exhibition of 'Una Wunderkammer Ottocentesca. An itinerary amongst the collector rarities of Frederick Stibbert' - which should not be missed among the current exhibitions in Florence -will allow visitors to learn about the best of the great collector who was able to give shape to objects and environments described in the Jules Verne novels even without visiting them but only through the publications of the period.

The six areas to be explored are as followed:

  1. Naturalia and Mirabilia: taking a cue from the encyclopaedic collections between 1600s-1700s set up Germany, in this section animal exhibits and plant mixed with extravagant and refined products are on display.
  1. Travel Souvenirs: particularly evocative staging for this environment of the exhibition at the Frederick Stibbert Museum where you can see several pieces that Frederick Stibbert collected during his travels.
  1. Curiosity: the objects and furnishings in this section come from the environments where the collector lives and created by the imagination of 19th century craftsmen.
  1. Japonisme: in this area you will find some specimens of what is considered the largest collection of Japanese armour outside Japan.
  1. Escapes from East: among the items on display, you can admire the watercolours painted by Frederick Stibbert during his trip to Egypt made after the opening of the Suez Canal in 1869. According to the evidence found, during this trip Frederick Stibbert bought some artefacts later used in the construction of the small temple in the park of Villa Montughi as well as two models of the decor of the Islamic rooms in which he reproduced one of the halls of the Alhambra in Granada.
  1. From the Greek Revival style to Liberty. A journey through the World's Fairs: This section of the exhibition of Frederick Stibbert in Florence numerous purchases from the collector are on display documenting the evolution of his passions in detail.


From 6 May 6 to 16 October 2016 do not miss 'Una Wunderkammer Ottocentesca. An itinerary amongst the collector rarities of Frederick Stibbert' at the Stibbert Museum amongst  the current exhibitions in Florence!

If you want to discover the wonders of what is known as the cradle of the Renaissance, please consult our page with tours in Florence: many interesting proposals that can suit all tastes!


By Insidecom Editorial Staff


Period: From 06 May 2016 to 16 October 2016

Event location: Florence

Contacts: Stibbert Museum in Florence - times and info on the Stibbert exhibit on official site museostibbert.it/en

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