Towards Industrial Design

The transition from decorative arts to industrial design, which was not fully completed in Italy until sometime after World War II, is represented in the Wolfsoniana through the evolution of  transportation: from the bicycle produced by the Giuseppe Bianchi company of Florence with its wooden wheel rims, symbol of an autarchic and substantially rural Italy, to the streamlined form of the Littorina Fiat and the Vespa 125, made by Piaggio in 1949 and coming  to symbolize Italy’s new path.

The room is dominated by an exceptional work: the table L’Autarca. Patented in 1936  defined as a “Table containing all the necessaries for serving meals”, L’Autarca (The Autocrat) was designed in 1935 by the Genoa-born notary Angelo Fasce in order to enable six dining companions to eat a full meal without the help of serving staff. Equipped with an original service including red earthenware plates from Richard-Ginori, Bakelite coffee cups, glasses made from Murano glass, and embroidered linen place mats, the table was fitted with a device that used a crank to regulate the movement of the pull-out central part, organised through a precise system of shelves and doors in a rotating movement. Inspired by its basic function – full dining self-sufficiency – its name referenced one of the most oft repeated edicts of Fascism’s civil liturgy: autocracy.  

The Wolfsoniana’s itinerary concludes with a space regularly hosts temporary  exhibitions dedicated to artists, iconographic subjects and themes related to the permanent exhibition