New Website: Gabinetti disegni e stampe italiani (Italian Prints and Drawings Study Rooms)

January 29, 2021
By Margherita Clavarino

The website aims to gather together all the Gabinetti disegni e stampe italiani (Italian Prints and Drawings Study Rooms) in order to promote and enhance the Italian heritage of prints and drawings. Each Gabinetto disegni e stampe is accompanied on the website by an up-to-date description of the study room, contacts (emails and telephone numbers), related links (website links and online collections links) and pictures. This is to facilitate the accessibility of these places to researchers, collectors, and prints and drawings enthusiasts.

Associated with the website is a constantly updated Instagram page which aims to make known to the general public the different collections hosting prints and drawings in Italy. Generally closed to the general public, these places are mostly unknown to people. The page aims to virtually open the doors of this places both visually, with the means of pictures, and literally, by describing how these places were created and which works they host. The Instagram page also aims to make known to the public the prints and drawings which are hosted in these gabinetti, by posting the most relevant works, with a short description. Indeed, these works of art remain mostly hidden, mainly for preservation reasons but also for the lack of resources to allocate to these places which can sometimes never open their doors. This is why Gabinetti disegni e stampe italiani also aims in the future to curate thematic online exhibitions involving the different prints and drawings hosted in the various Italian collections. By now, the page gathers and promotes the exhibitions of prints and drawings organised by the different institutions.

This online platform has been created by Margherita Clavarino, a final-year PhD student on early-modern prints at The Warburg Institute. Margherita holds a MA History of Art from The Courtauld Institute of Art in Print Culture and the Early Modern Arts and has worked in different collection of prints and drawings, like that of the Musei di Strada Nuova, in Genoa, and of the Albertina, in Vienna. The idea of creating this platform came to her during COVID-19 when the digital world became more and more important. This idea however came also from the fact that prints and drawings study rooms have almost never a space dedicated on the Italian institutional websites and it is especially difficult to find the people to contact or the already available online resources, especially without knowing Italian. Furthermore, given that, as already said, differently from other works of art, prints and drawings cannot be permanently exhibited, Margherita thought that these fragile objects should be permanently exhibited at least online.

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