The second edition in 2018 awared 77 new Masters of Arts and Crafts, who signed a symbolic Libro d’Oro, or Golden Book, of Italian Artisanal Excellence.
MAM - Maestro d'Arte e Mestiere, promoted by the Cologni Foundation for the Métiers d’Art in partnership with ALMA, the International School of Italian Cuisine, is a unique award for Italian excellent artisans. Of the 77 titles, 64 honoured talents in 23 categories of artistic craftsmanship (including ceramics, jewellery, woodcraft, furniture, metalwork, mechanics, mosaics, leather craft, printmaking, restoration, theatrics and textile design) and 13 titles paid homage to exponents of 13 different cuisine and beverage sectors.
The aim of this biennial initiative is to institute the independent title of Maestro d'Arte for the first time in Italy, in acknowledgement of the excellence of the country's artisans and in compensation for the Italian system's grave deficiency in commendation. The MAM sustains, promotes and celebrates the extraordinary work of outstanding craftspeople by bringing them to the attention of the general public and the media.
In order to maintain Italy’s historic leadership in the creation of beauty, it is essential to protect and promote these unique skills that form such a key part of our heritage.
The MAM - Maestro d’Arte e Mestiere award was created to pay a heartfelt and grateful tribute to the many “intelligent hands” behind Italy’s creative and artisanal excellence, who allow us to feel worthy heirs of the teachings of the Renaissance and the unparalleled human and cultural legacy it left behind.
While often hidden from the public eye, the know-how, passion and human worth of the great masters make Italy great and constitute one of its most important assets: an artistic, cultural and economic goldmine recognised and coveted the world over. Thus, it is essential to protect and promote these unique skills, which form such a key part of the Italian heritage. The knowledge and extraordinary skills of the master craftsmen passed down through the generations are not lost but rather are collated and updated thanks to the culture of the project and the sensitive use of new technologies.
MAM currently features over 150 extraordinary “living treasures”, according to the evocative Japanese definition. This inspiring list will be completed with many other exceptional master artisans in the future, discovered, selected and promoted among the numerous ones that Italy carefully treasures.
The Cologni Foundation for the Métiers d'Art is a private non-profit organisation established in Milan by Franco Cologni, its President, in 1995.
The Cologni Foundation’s founding purpose is to accomplish a “new Renaissance” of the artistic crafts and rescue the métiers d’art from the threat of extinction. Its initiatives are chiefly addressed to the young and to the training of the next generations of artisans. The Cologni Foundation promotes, supports and carries out a number of cultural, scientific and educational programmes.
In the book series “Mestieri d’Arte” (Métiers d’Art) and “Ricerche” (Researches), published by Marsilio Editori, the Cologni Foundation retraces the history of highly specialised crafts and skills, investigating the great heritage of Italian traditional knowhow as well as the new interpretations of contemporary craftsmanship.
The children’s book series “Storietalentuose” (Stories of talent), published by Carthusia, introduces young readers to the fascinating world of Italian artistic crafts.
The magazine “Mestieri d’Arte & Design” (Arts & Crafts & Design in the English edition) is conceived and published by the Cologni Foundation together with Swan Group. It is dedicated to Italy’s craftsmanship of excellence and to the “intelligence of the hand”, which is perpetuated by artistic crafts both in Italy and in the world.
Through the apprenticeship programmes of the project “A School, a Job. Training to Excellence”, the Cologni Foundation actively supports the training of young people in high craftsmanship and their introduction into the working world.
The Cologni Foundation is also involved in many initiatives with prominent schools and higher education institutions: in Milan with Università Bocconi, Università Cattolica del Sacro Cuore, Polytechnic University, Creative Academy, Domus Academy; in Paris with EDC.
The Cologni Foundation cooperates with many international foundations and organisations, among which the Michelangelo Foundation for Creativity and Craftsmanship and the INMA, Institut National des Métiers d’Art. The Foundation is also partner in the international network of the “Journées Européennes des Métiers d’Art” (European Artistic Crafts Days).
ALMA is the world’s leading international educational and training centre for Italian Cuisine.
The school educates chefs and sommelier from all around the world, forming professionals of Italian Cuisine with training programs at the highest level, executed by world’s leading teachers.
ALMA has its Headquarters in the magnificent Palazzo Ducale of Colorno near Parma, equipped with the latest teaching and cooking facilities. For all these reasons we are convinced that, for those who have chosen to work in the fascinating world of fine cooking, ALMA represents a valuable investment for the future as well as an extraordinary training experience.
The most advanced techniques and the wisdom of the traditions, practice and gastronomic culture, the knowledge of raw materials and territories in the world of Italian food and wines, and much more, constitute a unique and enthralling didactic method.
The ALMA method includes meeting great Cuisine, Pastry and Wine Masters, attending their classes, looking at their experiences and emotions, and admiring their genius: this is part of what makes ALMA’s students special, real professionals.
The project is under the aegis of numerous important and prestigious institutions.
Each of this year's 77 Masters of Arts and Crafts was the recipient of a specially made work of art: a medal crafted by the Scuola dell'Arte della Medaglia, the school of medal making at the Istituto Poligrafico e Zecca dello Stato in Rome. It is the only art school in the world to be part of a state mint.
Each edition of the MAM will feature a new version of this precious object, which will continue to be manufactured by the mint. Designed by a talented group of students from the Scuola dell'Arte della Medaglia, the casting chosen for 2018 is a refined allegory of creative intellect evoked by a delicate male profile with wings growing from the temples. The circle held in his hands symbolises the connection between mind, heart, intuition and rationality by which the métiers d'art originate. The act of creation is symbolised by abstract geometric figures morphing into an acanthus leaf, used here as a metaphor of the intricacy of craft. Working from the original sketch, the works of art were crafted in bas-relief by Fonderia Artistica della Zecca using the complex artistic process of sand-casting, a technique requiring various stages of manual production.
Of the 77 titles, 64 honoured talents in 23 categories of artistic craftsmanship and 13 titles paid homage to exponents of 13 different cuisine and beverage sectors.
On Monday 4 June 2018, an emotion-filled ceremony took place in the Salone d'Onore at the Triennale di Milano. In the presence of a tightly packed audience, the Maestro d'Arte e Mestiere organisation bestowed its title, Master of Arts and Crafts, on 77 artisans.
In the festive and at times moving atmosphere of this second edition of the award, the new recipients were applauded warmly by a public from Milan and beyond. They had come to the Triennale to render homage to the talent and inimitable skill of our great artisans.
Of the 77 titles, 64 honoured talents in 23 categories of artistic craftsmanship (including ceramics, jewellery, woodcraft, furniture, metalwork, mechanics, mosaics, leather craft, printmaking, restoration, theatrics and textile design) and 13 titles paid homage to exponents of 13 different cuisine and beverage sectors.
The aim of this biennial initiative is to institute the independent title of Maestro d'Arte for the first time in Italy, in acknowledgement of the excellence of the country's artisans and in compensation for the Italian system's grave deficiency in commendation.