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Carlo Scarpa

Venice, 1906 - Sendai (Japan), 1978
Architect and designer

Architect, artist and designer, Carlo Scarpa (Venice, 1906 – Sendai, Japan, 1978) is considered to be one of the most interesting figures of 20th century architecture. Educated in Venice, where he earned his diploma in Architectural Design from the Reale Accademia di Belle Arti in 1926, he began his teaching career at the IUAV, an activity that he continued until 1977. Artistic consultant to the Società vetraria muranese, run by Paolo Venini for many years, he was later nominated its artistic director from 1934 to 1947....Read more

Architect, artist and designer, Carlo Scarpa (Venice, 1906 – Sendai, Japan, 1978) is considered to be one of the most interesting figures of 20th century architecture. Educated in Venice, where he earned his diploma in Architectural Design from the Reale Accademia di Belle Arti in 1926, he began his teaching career at the IUAV, an activity that he continued until 1977. Artistic consultant to the Società vetraria muranese, run by Paolo Venini for many years, he was later nominated its artistic director from 1934 to 1947.
The Paul Klee exhibition, shown at the Venice Biennale in 1948, marked the beginning of a collaboration that would last his entire life. In the Giardini di Castello he designed the Ticket Office (1952), the Venezuela Pavilion (1954-56) and the exhibition held in the Italian Pavilion for the XXVII Biennale in 1952. Of his numerous museum renovations we mention here the Correr Museum in Venice and the Palazzo Abatellis in Palermo (1953), the addition to the Canova Sculpture Museum in Possagno (1955-57), the addition to the Castelvecchio Museum in Verona (1957-64, 1973), the restoration of the Library at the Palazzo Querini Stampalia in Venice (1961-63) and the design of the Picasso Museum in Paris (1976). His smaller residential projects, including the Villa Guarnieri on the Venice Lido (1948), Villa Zoppas in Cornegliano (1957) and The Brion Chapel in San Vito di Altivole, Treviso, built between 1970 and 1975 represent a synthesis of the values of his work. His museum work earned him the Premio Olivetti in 1956, followed by other important the Premio della Presidenza della Repubblica per l’architettura (1967) and nominations to the Royal British Institute of Design (1970) and the Accademia di San Luca in Rome (1976).
His work has been presented in Italy and abroad in personal exhibitions: the Museum of Modern Art in New York (1966), the Venice Biennale (1968) and the Heinz Gallery in London, later transferred to Vicenza and Paris between 1974 and 1975 and, finally, Madrid in 1978.
Scarpa died in a car accident in Sendai, Japan in 1978. He was a awarded a posthumous honoris causa degree in Architecture, ending the debate regarding the legitimacy of his work as an architect.

source: MAXXI Museo delle arti del XXI secolo

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Carlo Scarpa at Casa Businaro (Monselice), courtesy Archivio Pietropoli

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