Friday, April 19, 2013

Three Days in Florence: Jewelry and Clothing

diamond necklace at The Silver Museum, 1850, Palazzo Pitti

The rest of my time in Florence was filled with museums and wandering, my two favorite things to do while traveling. Here are my jewelry and clothing favorites:

display of seed pearl jewelry at The Silver Musem, Palazzo Pitti

The Silver Museum has a small but excellent collection of historical jewelry, including pieces once belonging to Marie d'Medici. It also includes a contemporary collection of Italian jewelers like Giovanni Corvaja and Stefano Marchetti. I was especially interested in the 17th century seed pearl pieces--intricate, complex, and delicate designs with individually sewn pearls. I was also fascinated by the collection of carved ivory and the amber reliquaries. 

The Palazzo Pitti also hosts a wonderful Costume Gallery. It includes both antique and contemporary examples and pairs many of them together so you can see the similarities that have been repeated and reinvented over time. These sleeves on a dress by Roberto Cappucci really caught my attention.

16th century burial dress of Eleanor of Toledo at Palazzo Pitti Costume Gallery 

One of the most interesting exhibitions I have ever seen included the burial clothing of Grand Duke Cosimo d'MediciEleanor of Toledoand her son Don Garza. Their garments were removed some years ago and painstakingly reconstructed. The fabrics are stained and in tatters, but reveal a great deal in the hidden details. They even appear like maps, spread out in each display with drawings to fill-in the "gaps" where fabric no longer exists.

Instant Saint by Manfred Bischoff

I visited Antonella Villanova, a contemporary jewelry and art gallery. I got to see work by Flora Vagi, Kiki Smith, and Manfred Bischoff. There were drawer after drawer of pieces to see:

The "Flora World" display at Museo Gucci--the square designs hanging in the back are original illustrations by Vittorio Accornero 

Doris Maninger from Alchimia suggested I go to the Gucci Museum which I didn't even know about and was grateful for the recommendation. The museum tells the story of Gucci with gorgeous examples of clothing and accessories and objects for the home. 

More pictures on Facebook and Flickr.

Thanks for reading.

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