The Factory of Beauty: The Manufacturing in Follonica and Artistic Culture in Grand Duchy of Tuscany

From 23/03/2024 to 30/06/2024
Terre degli Uffizi comes to Follonica for the first time with an exhibition celebrating the production of cast iron artifacts as the city's historical and artistic heritage.

Follonica commemorates its artistic and cultural history linked to the production of cast iron artifacts with an exhibition. From March 24th to June 30th, the halls of Foundry 1, in the former Ilva area, will host the exhibition "The Factory of Beauty: The Manufacturing of Follonica and Artistic Culture in Grand Ducal Tuscany", promoted and organized by the Municipality of Follonica and included in the "Terre degli Uffizi" project, conceived and realized by the Uffizi Galleries and the CR Firenze Foundation as part of their respective initiatives "Uffizi Diffusi" and "Small Great Museums".

The exhibition focuses on the "dream" of Leopold II of Lorraine to create an artistic and productive manufacturing center based on cast iron in Maremma. A "new" material, born out of the industrial revolution, was a protagonist in Europe's boldest architectures, and Grand Duke Leopold chose it as the "raw material" of Tuscany. He selected Follonica as the production site, in continuity with the Medici "iron policy" that had already combined the enormous availability of iron from Elba with the wealth of wooded areas and the dense hydrographic network in this part of Tuscany, giving rise to Magona.
In the vast spaces of Foundry 1, one of the most representative buildings of the nineteenth-century plant, the dialogue between the Follonica production system and the Florentine artistic and political context, from which everything originates, will be staged. "The Factory of Beauty" intends to exhibit the idea of the factory as a place of artistic and productive research, as Follonica was in the years of the grand ducal foundries' peak activity, emphasizing how the experimentation initiated was perfectly in line with the national and international debate of the time.
For the first time within the former Ilva site, drawings, projects, but also paintings, sculptures, and castings from the Manetti Fund of the Academy of Arts and Design of Florence, from the State Archive of Florence, from the Stibbert Museum, from the Modern Art Gallery of Palazzo Pitti, and from various other institutions – including numerous private collections – will be exhibited, allowing for the reconstruction of the city's artistic birth and growth path. Art is the main protagonist, with the work of Lorenzo Nencini, which well represents the artistic debate between "ideal beauty" and "natural beauty" that permeates the Florentine Academy (itself a result of a grand ducal reform): the San Giovanni Battista, marble realized for the church of San Leopoldo. Around it, the actors of the debate: Pietro Benvenuti, Giuseppe Bezzuoli, Enrico Pollastrini, Lorenzo Bartolini with paintings and sculptures that aptly represent the spirit of the time.


Fonderia 1:  Via Roma, 100 - Follonica (GR)


From Saturday, March 23rd to Sunday, June 30th.


Opening hours:
From Tuesday to Sunday
from 9:00 AM to 8:00 PM
Closed on Monday
INFO: frontoffice@magmafollonica.it
Tel. 0566 59027 - Cell. 366 7792947
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