Hats Off - At the Casa Museo Boschi, the Head-Coverings of Alfonso Franco Grassi

Hats Off - At the Casa Museo Boschi, the Head-Coverings of Alfonso Franco Grassi
#Exhibitions

An Alpine trooper’s hat with a feather, an aviator’s cap - the kind including built-in radio flight headphones - a pith helmet, a cardinal’s cap, a hunter’s hat from Scotland or the famed Sicilian coppola. Besides collecting them, Alfonso Franco Grassi wore these hats, like the white Panama hat of Borsalino and the fur ear-muffs with goggles attached that he wore while at the wheel of his Fiat Spider. These bizarre hats are at the centre of a special exhibition, set on the precious hat-stands designed by Studio De Pas D’Urbino Lomazzi, iconic objects out of Italian design history that, for this exhibition at the Casa Museo Boschi di Stefano, will be used for their original purpose. The exhibition, curated by Anty Pansera, design historian and, at the same time, life and work partner of Grassi, deceased in 2014, is an opportunity to explore the multi-layered and free-spirited, as well as refined personality of the artist who, besides design itself, cultivated numerous passions, from cats to airplanes, from cinema to history. And perhaps it is here that his love for hats was born, military but not only, which brought him to gather a collection of almost two-hundred, thanks to his travels around the world and gifts from friends that knew of his particular interest. Making up the heart of the collection, the militaria - berets, the plumed hat of the Italian military’s Bersagliere force, the Safari-style hat of the Askari, or the red fez with the blue ribbon which was reminiscent of his Eritrean roots. The exhibition also features a series of portraits of Alfonso Franco Grassi, created in 1994 by photographer Giovanna Dal Magro.

Samantha De Martin - © 2019 ARTE.it for Bulgari Hotel Milano