ICOM International Committee for Historic House Museums

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November 2, 2018

Hygiene and bathrooms in the museum houses: three guided tours and a conference at Villa Bellosguardo Conferences

On November 18 and 19 in Lastra a Signa, in the magnificent Villa Bellosguardo, ICOM and DEMIHST members are welcome to take part in the “Hygiene and bathrooms in the museum houses: objects, spaces, customs” conference.  The event includes guided tours and a conference to talk about the spaces dedicated to hygiene within the museum houses. 

The conference is organized in synergy between the National Association of Memory Houses and Icom Italy with its president Tiziana Maffei, who will be entrusted with the conclusions of the conference on 19 November. The event is promoted by the Museum Houses Commission of ICOM Italy in collaboration with the Villa Caruso association and the Municipality of Lastra a Signa.

The conference will open on Sunday 18 November at 11.00 am with the meeting of the participants at Casa Martelli (via Ferdinando Zannetti, 8) and the relative visit to the Martelli home bathroom by Monica Bietti. At 12.30 stop at Palazzo Vecchio with a visit to the Comodo di Cosimo I by the Municipality of Florence. After the lunch break, at 3 pm, a visit to Palazzo Pitti titled “The retreat of the Grand Duchess”, curated by Laura Baldini. Finally, at 5pm, Attilio Tori will lead the participants to discover the Rodolfo Siviero House Museum.

On Monday 19th, the conference will be held in Villa di Bellosguardo. The panels will be moderated by Farida Simonetti, director of the national gallery of Palazzo Spinola (Genoa), and will begin with the intervention of Gialuca Kannes, member of the DEMHIST board titled “The musealization of hygiene practices: a look at international literature”. Next, Giuseppina Carla Romby, professor of History of Architecture at the University of Florence with “Convenient, agiamenti, necessary places. Hygienic services and comfort of Florentine palaces (16th-18th centuries) ”. Adriano Rigoli, president of the National Association of Case della Memoria will speak about “Places of convenience and toilets in the exhibition path of the Houses of Memory”. And again Paola Coniglio, from the Superintendence of Archeology, Fine Arts and Landscape for the provinces of Caserta and Benevento on “The Great Bath of Maria Carolina in San Leucio: criticality of the site and methods of recovery”, and Maria Carmela Masi, of the area protection of the historical and artistic heritage of the Reggia di Caserta museum, with “Il Boudoir di Maria Carolina”.

After a short break  “The rooms of the Caruso house”: with greetings from Stefano Calistri, president of the Villa Caruso Association and a guided tour of the museum and the historic bathroom with Giampiero Fossi, director of the museum. The afternoon session of works, moderated by Marco Capaccioli,will open with Maria Maddalena Margaria, architect Phd of the Polytechnic of Turin and “The bathroom as a museum space: the case study of the Castle of Racconigi “, followed by Laura Zazzerini, former scientific curator of the Marini-Clarelli Foundation and the intervention” From the “toilet” to the bathroom in the House Museum of Oddi Marini Clarelli of Perugia “. Maria Fratelli, director of the museum houses and special projects department of the Municipality of Milan, will instead focus on the theme “Casa Museo Boschi di Stefano. A situationist bathroom”. Finally, presentations by Francesca Baldry, collection manager of the Acton collection (New York University, Villa La Pietra, Florence) on “The bathroom by Hortense Mitchell Acton in the museum house of Villa La Pietra: a recovery of museum space and a renewed story of taste and hygiene ”; and Francesca Favaro, PhD student in architectural history at the Polytechnic University of Turin on “The apartment of the bathrooms of the Castle of Aglié”. The conclusions will be entrusted to Tiziana Maffei, president of Icom Italia.