“The exhibition of historic violinmaking [in 2013] hosted for the first time in the Temporary Exhibitions Pavilion of the new Museo del Violino, presents a small but carefully chosen selection of instruments from the collection of the Chi Mei Cultural Foundation in Tainan, Taiwan. Over the years, the foundation has acquired a number of precious masterpieces, and now owns an extraordinary collection of string instruments, currently made up of over 1,300 pieces. The exhibition’s Scientific Committee has selected 23 works by the same number of Italian violinmakers, produced between the end of the 17th century and the first half of the 19th century.
The exhibition features 20 violins, two violas and one violoncello, all instruments of the highest quality and in an excellent state of conservation. They represent the output of Italian violinmakers who are important but not widely known, often precisely because of the rarity of their works. As exemplified by the title, Bottega Italiana (“Italian Workshop”), the exhibition wants to show to the public the wealth of ideas and variety of forms and models that can be found in classic Italian violinmaking. As the exhibition progresses, it reveals how many violinmakers with great personality and considerable technical and artistic skills were active throughout north-central Italy. With their works, these artisans contributed to making the violin the popular instrument we know so well today.” – by Carlo Chiesa