Deruta - Museo Regionale della Ceramica di Deruta
The Museo Regionale della Ceramica di Deruta is the oldest ceramics museum in Italy; established in 1898, it has over 6000 works and is housed in the entirely restored 14th century convent of San Francesco.
The museum occupies the ground floor and two upper floors, it is introduced by a lecture hall and it describes the various periods of the evolution of Deruta majolica from the earliest production to that of the 20th century. The tale of ceramic art is told by certain theme areas, such as the reconstruction of an old apothecary, the display of complete collections and the sections on majolica tiled floors, lusterware and votive plaques. The contemporary section consists mainly of works from the Multiplo d’Artista in Maiolica and the Premio Deruta; the archeological section instead offers a meaningful overview of the main types of pottery produced in ancient times and brings together examples of Greek, Italiot, Etruscan and Roman pottery.
What makes the museum unique is a four-storey metal tower communicating with the convent building: a massive structure reserved for storage, filled with works held in showcases, open to the public and equipped for study and for educational and workshop activities.
The tour of the museum also includes the San Salvatore potteries archeological site; the archeological investigation of a site next to the museum revealed a series of structures dating from the late 13th century to the early 18th century, and has allowed the recovery of a large number of ceramic finds.
Today an underground tunnel links the museum with the archeological area and allows a unique itinerary that winds from the old kilns for firing ceramics to historical collections, up to the pottery productions of the 20th century and the areas dedicated to conferences, educational and workshop activities and temporary exhibitions.
The itinerary is completed with the Pinacoteca Comunale di Deruta, housed inside Palazzo dei Consoli; the collection includes important works by Perugino, Niccolò Alunno, Antonio Amorosi and Baciccio.
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