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Revisiting Giorgio Morandi's studio in the museum gallery and a casa: on the micro-politics of period room frame designs

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Abstract
In the past few years, the studio of painter Giorgio Morandi (1890-1964) has made an interesting journey. In 1993, the studio was first transferred from its location in Morandi’s original Bolognese apartment into the galleries of the then newly established Museo Morandi in the center of Bologna. There the studio was reconstructed as a period room complementing the presentation of the artist’s oeuvre. Yet in 2009 the painter’s studio was reinstalled in its original location as part of the apartment’s remodeling into a memorial house museum. Now the studio and two other historic interiors were recreated in situ, but interestingly, this restoration of these interiors to their original place did not diminish their character of ‘decontextualized fragment’. Hence the resultant Casa Morandi calls for a critical recalibration of the opposition between ‘period room’ and ‘historic interior’: even on their proper original sites, historic interiors can be displaced and can appear as period rooms. This paper, part of my PhD dissertation on the architecture of single-artist museums, first compares the two subsequent studio reconstructions, contrasting their radically different approaches to truthfulness of the reconstruction project. How do they each negotiate the historical illusionism we expect of reconstructed interiors with the institutional transparancy we can expect of the museological apparatus that is mounted to stage this illusion? The paper then continues with a close reading of the different designs of the frames of the reconstructed antechambre, storeroom and studio in the musealized artist’s apartment. The designs of the ‘interfaces’ between each of these historical interiors and the visitors’ circuit, show an interesting variety resulting from the choice where a historical room is ‘cut open’, and from the design and the materialization of the new frame in between reconstruction space and exhibition space. The critical analysis of the range of design choices within this single case study aims at elucidating what could be called the micro-politics of period room designing.
Keywords
period room, frame, studio, museum architecture

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Chicago
Liefooghe, Maarten. 2014. “Revisiting Giorgio Morandi’s Studio in the Museum Gallery and a Casa: On the Micro-politics of Period Room Frame Designs.” In The Period Room : Museum, Material, Experience, Abstracts.
APA
Liefooghe, M. (2014). Revisiting Giorgio Morandi’s studio in the museum gallery and a casa: on the micro-politics of period room frame designs. The Period Room : Museum, Material, Experience, Abstracts. Presented at the The Period Room : Museum, Material, Experience.
Vancouver
1.
Liefooghe M. Revisiting Giorgio Morandi’s studio in the museum gallery and a casa: on the micro-politics of period room frame designs. The Period Room : Museum, Material, Experience, Abstracts. 2014.
MLA
Liefooghe, Maarten. “Revisiting Giorgio Morandi’s Studio in the Museum Gallery and a Casa: On the Micro-politics of Period Room Frame Designs.” The Period Room : Museum, Material, Experience, Abstracts. 2014. Print.
@inproceedings{5757691,
  abstract     = {In the past few years, the studio of painter Giorgio Morandi (1890-1964) has made an interesting journey. In 1993, the studio was first transferred from its location in Morandi’s original Bolognese apartment into the galleries of the then newly established Museo Morandi in the center of Bologna. There the studio was reconstructed as a period room complementing the presentation of the artist’s oeuvre. Yet in 2009 the painter’s studio was reinstalled in its original location as part of the apartment’s remodeling into a memorial house museum. Now the studio and two other historic interiors were recreated in situ, but interestingly, this restoration of these interiors to their original place did not diminish their character of ‘decontextualized fragment’. Hence the resultant Casa Morandi calls for a critical recalibration of the opposition between ‘period room’ and ‘historic interior’: even on their proper original sites, historic interiors can be displaced and can appear as period rooms. This paper, part of my PhD dissertation on the architecture of single-artist museums, first compares the two subsequent studio reconstructions, contrasting their radically different approaches to truthfulness of the reconstruction project. How do they each negotiate the historical illusionism we expect of reconstructed interiors with the institutional transparancy we can expect of the museological apparatus that is mounted to stage this illusion? The paper then continues with a close reading of the different designs of the frames of the reconstructed antechambre, storeroom and studio in the musealized artist’s apartment. The designs of the ‘interfaces’ between each of these historical interiors and the visitors’ circuit, show an interesting variety resulting from the choice where a historical room is ‘cut open’, and from the design and the materialization of the new frame in between reconstruction space and exhibition space. The critical analysis of the range of design choices within this single case study aims at elucidating what could be called the micro-politics of period room designing.},
  author       = {Liefooghe, Maarten},
  booktitle    = {The Period Room : Museum, Material, Experience, Abstracts},
  keywords     = {period room,frame,studio,museum architecture},
  language     = {eng},
  location     = {Barnard Castle, UK},
  title        = {Revisiting Giorgio Morandi's studio in the museum gallery and a casa: on the micro-politics of period room frame designs},
  year         = {2014},
}