The Grazia Museum is a historical museum which documents the origins and developments of the Grazia Company through samples of production since 1800 and majolica fragments dating back to the 1500s. It is housed within the walls of the Grazia factory which is itself a working museum. Production still takes place in the factory built in 1922 by Ubaldo Grazia and his associates and the furnishings have remained almost unaltered.
Parts of the collection were originally collected and organized by Milziade Magnani, (1883-1951), in his position as administrative president of Anonima Combattente G. Grazia (1923-1930). In 2001, the collection was reorganized by the renowned ceramics expert, Giulio Busti and the display space was redesigned by architect Enrico Da Gai.
The Grazia Museum is part of the Umbria network of museums.
The present collection
It is made up of nearly 700 works of art, divided into the following sections.
Ubaldo Grazia at British Museum
Timothy Wilson, a well known researcher of Italian Renaissance ceramics and long term collaborator with the British Museum of London and the Ashmolean Museum of Oxford, asked the current owner to donate a piece of Ubaldo Grazia’s decorative lusterware.
The plate, a reproduction of a renaissance work of art, is now on exhibit at the London Museum next to an original from 1500 and has been included in the catalogue “Italian Renaissance Ceramics” published recently by the British Museum.
The catalogue of ’29
The U. Grazia factory’s 1929 Catalogue documented the most popular shapes and designs produced for the elite American and British markets. The designs came primarily from the 1500-1600’s, including Ricco Deruta, Grottesche, Arabesco, Calligrafico and Orvietano. A highlight of the catalogue was “Moresco fogliame e oro blu”, which was a long lost luster technique rediscovered by Ubaldo Grazia (1887-1961). Although the web site contains only a few pages from the original 1929 Catalogue it can be seen in its entirety at the Grazia Museum.
The catalogue, “Museo della Fabbrica di Maioliche Grazia di Deruta”, documents the cultural, artistic, and historical role the Grazia factory played in the evolution of Umbrian ceramics.
The catalogue of 2009
The book catalogs 427 ceramics found in the Grazia Museum that were produced by the Grazia factory between 1880 and 1960 and ceramic fragments found in kiln dumping grounds from 1500-1800. It focuses on specific master painters’ work, design production, glazing techniques, forms and shapes. Also studied was the company’s early entry to international markets and the industrialization of production in 1900.
Published in 2009, it was a collaboration of the Umbrian regional government and the Milanese publishing firm, Electa. The catalogue was edited by the renowned ceramic historians Giulio Busti and Franco Cocchi and the introduction is by Vittorio Fagone, a leading contemporary art critic and historian. Rosaria Catana wrote about Grazia’s production methods and compares them to other factories and Clarissa Sirci explains how popular culture altered traditional shapes over the years. Clara Menganna is credited with reviewing factory archives to document Grazia’s growth and production levels.