Carlo Scarpa began to come into national prominence with several designs for exhibitions. The first were in Venice: »Paul Klee« (1948) for the 1949 Biennale, »Giovanni Bellini« (1949) at the Palazzo Ducale, »Toulouse Lautrec« (1952) at the Palazzo Correr, and »Tiepolo« for the 1952 Biennale. Others followed: »Quattrocento« (1953) at Messina town hall and »Piet Mondrian« (1956) at the Galleria Nazionale d'Arte Moderna in Rome. Such commissions finally led him into the design of museum interiors: among many, his most celebrated were the Museo dell'Accademia (1952-56) and the Museo Correr (1953 to 1969), both in Venice, the Palazzo Abbatellis (1953/54) in Palermo, the Gipsoteca Canoviana in Possagno (1955-57) and the Museo di Castelvecchio (1956-64) in Verona. Scarpa's exhibit designs and museum interiors present a different way of seeing. On the one hand, seeing the object through provision of a sympathetic setting for it; on the other, seeing contemporary »modern « architecture in the context of the cultural continuum that has carried it to where it now momentarily hovers. The Museo di Castelvecchio was developed on the bombed ruins of the Scaligery family's medieval castle in Verona. First commissioned to redesign the oldest section of the building, Scarpa was later asked to complete the museum. The work is a monument to Scarpa's sensibilties about time and place. According to critic Nory Miller he »achieved an extraordinary coexistence involving architecture of different centuries, including this one ... without the crutches of neutral glass linkages, uniform materials, or historical references ... Each angle, shape, surface is chosen to engage the attention or participation of the visitor.« Indeed, the symbiosis between Scarpa's work and the surviving fabric is such that differences are hardly apparent. With his infinitive capacity for fine detailing, he touched the past lightly; because he was so conscious of continuity the museum gives the »sense that construction has been supended«. (After Donald Leslie Johnson and Donald Langmead.) Valeria Carullo is curator of the Robert Elwall Photographs Collection in the Royal Institute of British Architects, Paola Marini is director and Alba Di Lieto curator of the Musei d'Arte Monumenti of the city of Verona. Richard Bryant is one of the best-known architectural photographers, working all over the world. He is the only photographer with an honorary fellowship of the Royal Institute of British Architects. von Bryant, Richard
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