Country Crafts Museum

Country Crafts Museum Contact

Info: +39 320.3432359
Telefono +39 541 929719

The Museum is housed in the sixteenth-century convent of San Girolamo which stands majestic on a hill, next to the Church of Our Lady of Grace, of which is part. Among other treasures, there is a particularly fine painting: an altarpiece depicting the Madonna and Child with Saints Jerome, Christina, Francis and Antony of Padua, commissioned by the Fregoso family who ruled the town, from Pietro Berettini da Cortona for the altar of the church. Another important work of art, the altarpiece by Pedro Berruguete showing the Dead Christ Supported by two Angels, was requisitioned in the Napoleonic period and taken to the Brera Art Gallery in Milan in 1809, where it remains. The convent dedicated to St Jerome was buil in 1560 and became a museum in 2005 after lengthy renovation work and alterations necessary to render it suitable for use as a museum. The Museum owes its existence to a group of local inhabitants anxious to discover their roots.

It comprises two sections, Sacred Art where fine church furnishings and vestments coming from the church and convent of San Girolamo are on display; and Rural Art, which has social and educational purposes and intends to continue the teaching of Olinto Marella, a candidate for beatification, who in the years from 1950 to 1970 gathered into the former convent orphans, the disabled and the destitute. As well as an exhibition of local craft articles the Museum has workshops where anyone interested, and especially disabled or handicapped young people, may acquire manual skills and learn the ancient rural crafts passed on by the oldest inhabitants. Skills taught include cabinet-making for the restoration of furniture in “Arte Povera” style, weaving or traditional looms and using related traditional instruments, and decoration using wood blocks and natural colourings.

With the support of the Association of volunteers who run the Museum and keep it open, it is also possible to learn basket-weaving, pottery, and ironing-working. A number of rooms are used as an archive and library, and there is a school of bookbinding which makes use of paper made here with natural products.

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