"Can we perceive, recognise and appreciate beauty through the sense of touch?" The exhibition "TOCCARE LA BELLEZZA Maria Montessori Bruno Munari" (Touching beauty) now underway at the Mole Vanvitelliana in Ancona offers some answers to this interesting question and ideas about possible ways of stimulating this form of "aesthetic awareness".
The exhibition, promoted and organised by Museo Tattile Statale Omero and the City of Ancona in partnership with Fondazione Chiaravalle Montessori and Associazione Bruno Munari, presents the work of these two important personalities in contemporary Italian culture together for the first time. Maria Montessori was a physician, child neuropsychiatrist, pedagogist and creator of a method of education now used in schools of all kinds all over the world. Bruno Munari was a designer, artist, graphic artist and writer whose research and work has made essential contributions in a number of fields of visual and non-visual art, who was also interested in the development of creativity and imagination through childhood play. Though these two illustrious personalities worked in different fields, they had many things in common and were perhaps asking the same basic questions.
The exhibition offers an opportunity to find out more about the ideas and materials adopted by Maria Montessori in her educational method and discover what they have in common with the original ideas and work of Bruno Munari, which in some cases inspired objects used in the application of the Montessori method. The exhibition features Maria Montessori’s educational model and the materials used to implement it, such as the pink tower, the cylinder blocks and the trinomial cube. The materials selected for the exhibition pertain to sensorial education and the hand, which the educator viewed as “the organ of intelligence”.
Over a hundred works have been selected for the exhibition out of Bruno Munari’s vast artistic production, as well as a group of paintings on wood by Roberto Arioli inspired by the concept of the "tactile boards" Bruno Munari designed in the 1970s. The exhibition also includes a number of editorial works selected to testify to the artist’s interest in the topics of multisensoriality and the sense of touch, particularly through natural and industrial materials used in artistic projects for pedagogical purposes.
The sense of touch is the common denominator in the exhibition design by architect Fabio Fornasari, organised by theme: shapes, materials, the skin of things, manipulating and building, alphabets and tactile narrations. The exhibition takes the form of a tactile experience open to all, consistently with the purposes of the Museo Tattile Statale Omero, which focuses on the role played by the sense of touch and other multisensorial and non-visual stimuli in artistic and aesthetic knowledge. The exhibition includes a number of installations, such as a reconstruction of a Montessori classroom, and interactive spaces in which visitors undergo multisensorial experiences, such as a “tactile forest” inspired by Munari’s creations. In-depth information is provided about the cultural background and experiences of the two figures featured in the exhibition and the impact and applications of their work, with a series of events including an international convention scheduled for 25 January 2020 and a series of workshops for families, teachers and schools.
Title: Toccare La Bellezza Maria Montessori Bruno Munari
Dates: 10 November 2019 – 8 March 2020
Location: La Mole Ancona, Sala Vanvitelli - Banchina Giovanni da Chio 28
Photos: Alfa Studio di Carella Stefano