Gipsoteca Vallardi

The collection of plaster casts Gipsoteca Vallardi, with over six thousand models, was undoubtedly the richest among the Italian plaster-cast museums. The numerous casts ordered with careful and thorough correlation criterion constituted a veritable museum of archeology for use by scholars as well as students of sculpture and architects.
The environment, large and well divided, offered many views and evocative atmospheres. Thanks to the numerous rooflights which let the light from the rooms were changing their appearance during the passing of the hours of the day.
The origins of this amazing collection come from the workshop of Carlo Campi, a talented mould maker from Milan, who offered his skilled work and his deep experience to numerous sculptors. Campi in 1871 opened a workshop for the production of casts for use by Drawing Schools. Which reliable craftsman also gained the nomination of conservator at the Academy of Brera and the Regional Office for the Preservation of Monuments of Lombardy, with this role he was responsible for many restorations in Milan and in the Certosa of Pavia.
His vast collection of plaster casts in small local in via Brera (in fact right in front of the Academy of Fine Arts) increased considerably in 1907 due to the acquisition of more than three thousand models of the ancient company of mould makers Edoardo Pierotti and Piero Pierotti of Milan.
Later the collection was sold by Carlo Campi and passed first to the Brothers Ferrandi and then to the National Union for Popular Education.
So it was from this institution that the well-known publisher Antonio Vallardi purchased the entire collection of plaster casts to transfer it in the charming and bright rooms of Via Stelvio No. 5. in front of the Vallardi’s factories editorials.
At the plaster cast gallery was annexed the laboratory for the production of casts from plaster molds and often from gelatin molds.
The entire collection was systematically cataloged, photographed and published in a comprehensive illustrated catalog with 96 plates in black and white. The catalog joined a brochure with a list of reference prices.
(Right) Catalogue of Casts, Gipsoteca Vallardi già Museo Ciampi.
Editor A. Vallardi, Milan, 1920 c.

The gipsoteca was provided by the original  reproductions or reduction in scale of the most famous works of classical Greek and Roman Art. Numerous models of architectural and decorative art Romanesque and Renaissance architecture. Sculptures by Michelangelo, Donatello, Ghiberti, Sansovino, and Canova.
Being a collection mainly in support of the design schools and academies series of Anatomical Models from Life and Ecorché (by Marco d’Agrate, Ercole Lelli and Houdon) was perhaps the richest of those available in the rest of Europe and the United States.

As written by the art critic and essayist Guido Edoardo Mottini ‘the Gipsoteca Vallardi was the Corpus Sculpturarum of Italy’.
Sadly over the decades, the collection was broken up and partially sold or dispersed.
After 1927 the Gipsoteca Vallardi closed permanently by stopping the business.  Some casts were purchased from other mold makers and so passed on to others. Unfortunately, what remains today are no longer the beautiful original casts of the Gipsoteca Vallardi but copies of copies of copies so currently of poor quality.