Museum Boschi-Di Stefano: masterpieces in Milan

In Milan, the former private residence of the family Boschi-Di Stefano has been transformed in a museum featuring important 20th century masterpieces by famous Italian artists such as Giorgio De Chirico and Mario Sironi.
Located at number 15, Via Giorgio Jan, in Milan, the museum has been open to the public since February 2003.

In these premises – once inhabited by the couple Antonio Boschi (1896-1988) and Marieda Di Stefano (1901-1968) – about three-hundred paintings and other masterpieces are exhibited, curated from over two thousand 20th century items donated to the City of Milan in 1974 by the Boschi-Di Stefano family.

The collection – which comprises paintings, sculptures and drawings – is an extraordinary testimony to the history of Twentieth Century Italian art from the first decade to the end of the Sixties.

The Museum is located in a small block built in the Nineteen Thirties by the architect Piero Portaluppi. The interiors, restored by the City of Milan, were furnished by the Boschi Di Stefano Foundation, established in 1998.

All items on display have been selected on the basis of their quality and arranged in chronological order in eleven exhibition areas whose furnishings – such as the dining room designed by Mario Sironi in 1936 – were chosen for their historical relevance.

Casa-Museo Boschi Di Stefano
The Boschi Di Stefano Museum-Home before the Museum of the Twentieth Century opened in 2010
Antonio and Marieda Boschi Di Stefano collected over two thousand masterpieces during their lives out of their passion for art. About three hundred of these have been selected for their quality and distributed in chronological order in the eleven exhibition areas of the Boschi Di Stefano Museum.
There are portraits of Boschi and Di Stefano at the entrance, with pottery by Marieda herself. From there, a corridor featuring canvases by Severini and Boccioni takes visitors to the “Twentieth Century Italian Room”, with works by Funi, Marussig, Tozzi, Carrà and Casorati. The “Sironi Room”, dedicated to that artist, also contains sculptures by Arturo Martini.
The next room contains seven works by Morandi and six by De Pisis.
 In a small corridor, one can admire a de Chirico painting: La scuola dei gladiatori (1928).
In his will, Antonio Boschi stipulated that the via Jan apartment, where he and Marieda had lived for so long, be opened to the public as a museum, hosting a selection of works from their collection. For reasons of security and conservation it was impossible to preserve intact “an inhabited museum” whose “spaces, outfitting and furnishings seem almost overwhelmed by the works of art”.
Only a few pieces were retained – among these a small table designed by Piero Portaluppi, and the Bechstein piano – consequently the Boschi Di Stefano Foundation arranged to purchase the necessary replacement furniture, chosen to match the period of the building and with the works displayed.  
Gli arredi
Photo: Václav Šedý
  “Agena” ceiling light of the Galassia collection by Alessandro Mendini, produced by Venini in 1993, installed in the former master bedroom of the Boschi Di Stefanos.
Photo: Václav Šedý
Gli arredi
Free entrance.
Reservations needed for groups of 18 or larger.

Beyond Milan Expo 2015: trendy spots in the city.

Milan is the main industrial, commercial, and financial center of Italy and a leading global city. Its business district hosts the Borsa Italiana (Italy’s main stock exchange) and the headquarters of the largest national banks and companies. The city is a major world fashion and design capital.

Milan’s museums, theaters and landmarks (including the Milan Cathedral, the Duomo, the fifth largest cathedral in the world)

Milan, the Cathedral (Duomo)

Milan, the Cathedral (Duomo)

and the Basilica of Santa Maria Delle Grazie, decorated with the famous Leonardo da Vinci’ painting, the Last Supper, a UNESCO World Heritage Site) attract over 8 million annual visitors.

Milan hosts numerous cultural institutions and universities and is also well known for several international events and fairs, including Milan Fashion Week and the Milan Furniture Fair, the largest of its kind in the world.

But Milan has much more to offer: great international restaurants, galleries, exhibits, shows, concerts, world class entertainment, opera at the famous theater La Scala, and the Basilica of San Lorenzo, built on the site of an ancient Roman temple.

Milan, the Basilica of San Lorenzo

Milan, the Basilica of San Lorenzo

 

Here are recommendation for a visit that includes elements beyond the “classical” touristy itineraries.

The big thing going on in Milan right now is Expo 2015.  From May to October 2015 Milan is hosting for the second time an Universal Exposition, the Expo 2015, whose theme is food sustainability. If you go, make sure not to miss the Expo and buy tickets in advance.

 

There are interesting ongoing exhibits at the Prada foundation.

Not to miss: Bar Luce inside the foundation. Designed by film director Wes Anderson, Bar Luce recreates the atmosphere of a typical Milanese cafè.

Fondazione Prada - Bar Luce (Courtesy of The Prada Foundation)

Fondazione Prada – Bar Luce (Courtesy of The Prada Foundation)

Worth seeing: a large farmer’s market under the stars: Mercato Metropolitano.

Not to miss: the Darsena, the area of ancient canals & port crossing Milan (designed by Leonardo da Vinci & recently restored) which used to connect Milan to the Ocean through a network of rivers and canals. Now you can stroll past art galleries, cafes, restaurants, boutiques and more.

Nearby you can eat a delicious meal at an old and traditional Milanese restaurant: El Brellin restaurant.

If you prefer to eat Vegan, try restaurant Alhambra.

Visit the interesting Italian photography exhibit at Palazzo della Ragione.

For a quick bite to eat while shopping downtown, go to Mercato del Duomo or grab a seat at another interesting & swanky restaurant: Asola.

Lastly, you can get free admission to Expo Milano 2015 when you purchase on your overseas air ticket on www.alitalia.com. Check all the Alitalia promotions to Milan!

If you go in the coming months you will find the city of Milan more alive and vibrant than ever!