Despite the long-standing debate on the supremacy of pure art over the decorative arts, the latter acquired an important role in the productive culture of the early 1900s, managing to create objects for daily use both of high technical quality and elevated aesthetic appeal.
Many were the architects and artists who, realizing the value of producing everyday objects in a society undergoing cultural transformations, started working on mass production but in limited editions.
Two classic examples are on one hand, the renowned architect Gio Ponti, who along with his designing activity devoted himself to the artistic management of a manufacturing division of Richard Ginori; on the other, the famous artist and ceramist Fausto Melotti who created a series of everyday objects endowed with a unique, inimitable aesthetic appeal.
Many were also the ateliers that established themselves in the production of objects in ceramic, enameled metal and glass, often run by artists who weren’t as renowned but had studied at the Fine Arts Academy.
Among them we must mention Victor Cerrato, whose ceramic objects were used by the most famous architects of the time in their interior design projects; the Del Campo Studio, renowned for its enamels on metals often based on designers’ drawings; Piero Fornasetti, famous for having reintroduced classical decorations from a modern perspective on ceramics and metals by using a special silkscreen printing technique; Paolo De Poli, known for his enamels on metal and for collaborating with Gio Ponti in the creation of various works; Aldo Tura, renowned for his objects coated in brightly colored parchment with a glossy finish.Other noteworthy names are Galileo Chini, San Polo, Giovanni Gariboldi, Alessio Tasca, Ceramiche Albisola, Lenci, SCI Laveno, Lino Sabattini.