A selection of musicians’ drawings from Stravinskij to Toscanini

By Paolo Manazza

M 2703 A5-FM-Arturo ToscaniniThe musicians by Gianni Maimeri were at first exhibited in 1931 at the memorable Pesaro Gallery (“Mostra dei pittori Giovanni Lentini e Gianni Maimeri”, Milano, Galleria Pesaro, April-May 1931, catalogue by Gustavo Botta).
The drawings ( a selection of about 10 items from nr 113 to 126) were shown together with 96 paintings in the rooms of the well-known gallery in Milan with the title “Gesti e atteggiamenti di musicisti. Studi a memoria (1927-28)”. The exhibition was warmly welcomed by people and press.
Afterwards the collection, enriched a lot, was offered to people in Milan in December 1948 on an artist’s one-man show at Galleria Salvetti, with a catalogue by Gustavo Predaval. In that occasion the collection was entitled : “I disegni di concertisti da Busoni a Toscanini (1905-1946)”.
Later on , forty-four years went by to a new exhibition of Musicians’ Collection, in 1992.
In October 1992 the Museum Teatro alla Scala devoted to Gianni Maimeri’s Musicians a broad exhibition by Giampero Tintori, museum manager, along with a full catalogue by Antea with commentaries by Tintori himself and by the critic Raffaele De Grada (“I musicisti visti da Gianni Maimeri”, a cura di Graziella Buccellati, Milano, Museo Teatrale alla Scala, 1-31 ottobre 1992).
Till September 1998 the collection was exhibited about once a year in prestigious showrooms , including Ancona (Palazzo degli Anziani, 5 nov-6 dic 1992); Nocera Umbra (PG), (Sala dell’Esposizione, 23 luglio-21 agosto 1994); Strasburgo, (Parlamento Europeo, 10-13 ottobre 1995): Reggio Emilia (XIII Mostra Mercato dell’Antiquariato, Centro Esposizioni, 26 gennaio-4 febbraio 1996); Lecce (Museo “S. Castromediano”, 22 novembre-21 dicembre 1997); Asolo (Museo Civico, 28 agosto-10 ottobre 1997); Castelfranco Veneto (Casa del Giorgione, 13 giugno-20 settembre 1998); Varese (Villa Recalcati, 10 aprile-23 maggio 1999); Campione d’Italia (Galleria Civica, 5 giugno-25 luglio 1999).
Catalogues were edited from time to time by Raffaele De Grada and Paolo Manazza.
In 2003 the collection was exhibited at Teatro dal Verme, the first one there after many restoring years (“I musicisti visti da Gianni Maimeri”, Milano, Teatro Dal Verme, 12 febbraio-1 giugno 2003).
Between October 2011 and January 2012 two broad anthological shows took place in San Pietroburgo and in Moscow (“Gianni Maimeri. 1884-1951”, San Pietroburgo, Museo dell’Accademia Russa di Belle Arti, 3 ottobre – 6 novembre 2011 – Mosca, Istituto Statale di Cultura, Museo di Storia, Architettura, Arte e Paesaggio “Tsaritsyno”, 29 novembre 2011 – 15 gennaio 2012)
In that occasion a selection of Musicians’ drawings was exhibited along with a selection of 150 oil paintings, the artist’s most important ones, all of them in the catalogue by Sandro Baroni.
Russian Television and Press left a wide survey as a document of people satisfaction in these two wide exhibitions in two of the most prestigious Russian Museums.
Nowadays most of the collection is permanently shown at Auditoriun ‘Verdi’ in Milan.
Television and Press greeted the opening with great interest, as the presence of these works in a permanent exhibition means an important and rare chance to know the artist, not yet permanently shown in Italian showrooms .
From the exhibition in Milan in 1992, this wide drawings collection met with general approval of influential Italian and European art critics: the already mentioned Raffaele De Grada and Giampiero Tintori but even Sandro Baroni, Alexander Bezrukov, Michele Biancale, Paolo Biscottini, Edoardo Borruso, Rossana Bossaglia, Graziella Buccellati, Gianni Cervetti, Lucrezia De Domizio Durini, Giandomenico Di Marzio, Alberto Fiz, Liudmila Kondratenko, Paolo Manazza, Semion Mihaylovsky, Alexander Rozhin, Emilio Tadini e Marco Vallora.
Now, with great pleasure, I managed to get from ‘Fondazione Maimeri’ a precious selection of these excellent drawings that will be exhibited for the first absolute time in Lugan, Switzerland at the first edition of ‘WopArt Fair’: a Fair completely devoted to paper masterpieces of all ages. No better home for such masterpieces.
All music lovers – more and more numerous in this wonderful town thanks to the many concert events promoted by Lac- will have a chance to appreciate the exquisite workmanship of these extraordinary works and ,at the same time, to call to their mind the music history and some of its most talentous masters.

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