Article by Interim Director Federica Goffi explores memory and storytelling at Castelvecchio Museum

March 18, 2022

Joelho – Journal of Architectural Culture has published an article by Interim Director Federica Goffi in which she describes a research visit to identify the location of architect Carlo Scarpa’s site office in the Castelvecchio Museum in Verona. 

 

The visit was in the context of her preparatory work for a book on the topic of Architecture in Conversion (under contract with Lund Humphrey, London 2025).  

 

The theme of Joelho 13, published on March 10, is Memory, Memorabilia and the Making. 

 

“In today’s image-based culture, what operative role does memorabilia play in the processes of architectural creation, be it in morphological or in conceptual terms?” the editors ask. “How does memorabilia, and memory in general, act as a catalyst for artistic thinking?” 

LEFT: Sculpture Gallery in 2019.© Prakash Patel. Courtesy of the Castelvecchio Museum, Verona
RIGHT: Night photo by Prakash Patel at the Castelvecchio Museum in the sculpture gallery, July 12, 2019, inspired by Scarpa’s practice of late-night visits to the site and his study of chiaroscuro to make determinations about the position of the sculptures and the design of architectural details.© Prakash Patel. Courtesy of the Castelvecchio Museum, Verona. to the site and his study of chiaroscuro to make determinations about the position of the sculptures and the design of architectural details.© Prakash Patel. Courtesy of the Castelvecchio Museum, Verona

Dr. Goffi’s article, titled Sited Memory: Peripatetic Storytelling at the Castelvecchio Museum in Verona, narrates her encounter with Angelo Rudella, the head of the construction site at the Castelvecchio Museum during the period of Scarpa’s renovation from 1957 to 1975.  

 

Rudella is one of the last storytellers to be able to offer a first-hand account of Scarpa’s design process at Castelvecchio. 

 

Relying on a historical mnemonic technique — the art of memory and storytelling — sited memories resurfaced along the museum path, triggering key recollections associated with the construction site and archival photographs. 

 

“When Rudella and I walked through the galleries of Castelvecchio, everyday stories of the construction site began to emerge,” writes Goffi. “He conveyed sited storytelling of architectural details, which he analyzed in their present context. Each detail triggered personal memories and recollections of a conversation or an interaction between Scarpa and himself, but also with Magagnato, or other collaborators. 

 

“The majority of publications acknowledge Scarpa’s genius as an author intervening in a historical context,” she concludes. “However, his role as curator of the collaborative cultural enterprise in the construction of architecture that occurs within the transhistorical dimension of cycles of architectureinconversion is yet to be acknowledged.” 

 

Read the article here. https://impactum-journals.uc.pt/joelho/article/view/9965/8170 

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