Our new exhibition in the Small Collections Room gives a fascinating insight into the miscellaneous work and wondrous life of the Italian architect, designer and photographer Carlo Mollino (1905– 1973) – also known as a literary figure, stunt pilot and skier.
After studying architecture in the 1920s Mollino designed public buildings and mountain houses, as well as a racing car – in which he competed in the Le Mans 24 Hours race in 1955. For his highly staged erotic photographs, Mollino created complex interiors that he furnished like film sets, photographing female nudes there in secret for over three decades. He also produced extravagant furniture – including chairs that look like deer, chair backs that resemble skis, and a table that echoes a human spine.
In 1961 Mollino purchased an 18th century apartment on the Po river in Turin. He turned it into an extravagantly surreal and mystical space that drew on his own life, but he never spent a night there. Today this apartment is looked after by Fulvio and Napoleone Ferrari who have curated all four of our antique cabinets to reflect Mollino’s life, architecture and design, photography and apartment.