Estorick Collection of Modern Italian Art

Last updated

Estorick Collection of Modern Italian Art
Estorick Collection.jpg
Estorick Collection of Modern Italian Art
Location39A Canonbury Square, Islington, London N1

The Estorick Collection of Modern Italian Art is a museum in Canonbury Square in the district of Islington on the northern fringes of central London. It is the United Kingdom's only gallery devoted to modern Italian art and is a registered charity under English law. [1]

Ardengo Soffici, 1912-13, Deconstruction of the Planes of a Lamp, oil on panel, 45 x 35 cm Ardengo Soffici, 1912-13, Deconstruction of the Planes of a Lamp, oil on panel, 45 x 35 cm, Estorick Collection, London.jpg
Ardengo Soffici, 1912–13, Deconstruction of the Planes of a Lamp, oil on panel, 45 × 35 cm

The Estorick Collection was founded by the American sociologist and writer Eric Estorick (1913–1993), who began to collect art when he moved to England after the Second World War. Estorick and his German-born English wife Salome (1920–1989) discovered Umberto Boccioni’s book Futurist Painting and Sculpture (1914) while they were on their honeymoon in 1947. Before the end of their trip they visited the erstwhile Futurist Mario Sironi in Milan and bought most of the contents of his studio, including hundreds of drawings. They built up the collection mainly between 1953 and 1958. The collection was shown in several temporary exhibitions, including one at the Tate Gallery in London in 1956, and the key works were on long-term loan to the Tate from 1966 to 1975. The Estoricks rejected offers to purchase their collection from the Italian government and museums in the United States and Israel. Six months prior to his death Eric Estorick set up the Eric and Salome Estorick Foundation, to which he donated all his Italian works.

The Estorick Collection moved to its current premises in Northampton Lodge, previously the home and office of Sir Basil Spence, the British architect, a converted Grade II-listed Georgian house, in 1998. The project was supported by a grant from the Heritage Lottery Fund.

The core of the collection is its Futurist works, but it also includes figurative art and sculpture dating from 1890 to the 1950s. It features paintings by Futurism's main protagonists: Giacomo Balla, Umberto Boccioni, Carlo Carrà, Gino Severini, Luigi Russolo and Ardengo Soffici, and works by Giorgio de Chirico, Amedeo Modigliani, Giorgio Morandi, Mario Sironi and Marino Marini. In addition to the main displays from the permanent collection, the Estorick Collection organises temporary exhibitions.

Related Research Articles

Peggy Guggenheim Collection

The Peggy Guggenheim Collection is a modern art museum on the Grand Canal in the Dorsoduro sestiere of Venice, Italy. It is one of the most visited attractions in Venice. The collection is housed in the Palazzo Venier dei Leoni, an 18th-century palace, which was the home of the American heiress Peggy Guggenheim for three decades. She began displaying her private collection of modern artworks to the public seasonally in 1951. After her death in 1979, it passed to the Solomon R. Guggenheim Foundation, which opened the collection year-round from 1980.

Futurism Artistic and social movement

Futurism was an artistic and social movement that originated in Italy in the early 20th century and also developed in Russia. It emphasized dynamism, speed, technology, youth, violence, and objects such as the car, the airplane, and the industrial city. Its key figures included the Italians Filippo Tommaso Marinetti, Umberto Boccioni, Carlo Carrà, Fortunato Depero, Gino Severini, Giacomo Balla, and Luigi Russolo. Italian Futurism glorified modernity and aimed to liberate Italy from the weight of its past. Important Futurist works included Marinetti's 1909 Manifesto of Futurism, Boccioni's 1913 sculpture Unique Forms of Continuity in Space, Balla's 1913-1914 painting Abstract Speed + Sound, and Russolo's The Art of Noises (1913).

Umberto Boccioni Italian painter and sculptor (1882–1916)

Umberto Boccioni was an influential Italian painter and sculptor. He helped shape the revolutionary aesthetic of the Futurism movement as one of its principal figures. Despite his short life, his approach to the dynamism of form and the deconstruction of solid mass guided artists long after his death. His works are held by many public art museums, and in 1988 the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City organized a major retrospective of 100 pieces.

Giacomo Balla Italian artist (1871-1958)

Giacomo Balla was an Italian painter, art teacher and poet best known as a key proponent of Futurism. In his paintings he depicted light, movement and speed. He was concerned with expressing movement in his works, but unlike other leading futurists he was not interested in machines or violence with his works tending towards the witty and whimsical.

Gino Severini Italian painter (1883-1966)

Gino Severini was an Italian painter and a leading member of the Futurist movement. For much of his life he divided his time between Paris and Rome. He was associated with neo-classicism and the "return to order" in the decade after the First World War. During his career he worked in a variety of media, including mosaic and fresco. He showed his work at major exhibitions, including the Rome Quadrennial, and won art prizes from major institutions.

Carlo Carrà Italian painter (1881–1966)

Carlo Carrà was an Italian painter and a leading figure of the Futurist movement that flourished in Italy during the beginning of the 20th century. In addition to his many paintings, he wrote a number of books concerning art. He taught for many years in the city of Milan.

Metaphysical painting Italian art style

Metaphysical painting or metaphysical art was a style of painting developed by the Italian artists Giorgio de Chirico and Carlo Carrà. The movement began in 1910 with de Chirico, whose dreamlike works with sharp contrasts of light and shadow often had a vaguely threatening, mysterious quality, "painting that which cannot be seen". De Chirico, his younger brother Alberto Savinio, and Carrà formally established the school and its principles in 1917.

Mario Sironi

Mario Sironi was an Italian modernist artist who was active as a painter, sculptor, illustrator, and designer. His typically somber paintings are characterized by massive, immobile forms.

<i>The City Rises</i> Painting by Umberto Boccioni

The City Rises (1910) is a painting by the Italian painter Umberto Boccioni. It was his first major Futurist work.

Ca Pesaro Art museum, Historic site in Venice, Italy

The Ca' Pesaro is a Baroque marble palace facing the Grand Canal of Venice, Italy. Originally designed by Baldassarre Longhena in the mid-17th century, the construction was completed by Gian Antonio Gaspari in 1710. As at Longhena's Ca' Rezzonico, a double order of colossal columns and colonnettes flanking arch-headed windows, reinterpreting a motif of Jacopo Sansovino, Longhena creates the impression of double loggias extending across the main Grand Canal frontage, above a boldly rusticated basement. Today it is one of the 11 museums run by the Fondazione Musei Civici di Venezia system.

<i>Unique Forms of Continuity in Space</i> 1913 sculpture by Umberto Boccioni

Unique Forms of Continuity in Space is a 1913 bronze Futurist sculpture by Umberto Boccioni. It is seen as an expression of movement and fluidity. The sculpture is depicted on the obverse of the Italian-issue 20 cent euro coin.

Italian modern and contemporary art

Italian Contemporary art refers to painting and sculpture in Italy from the early 20th century onwards.

<i>The Street Enters the House</i> Painting by Umberto Boccioni

The Street Enters the House is an oil on canvas painting by Italian artist Umberto Boccioni. Painted in the Futurist style, the work centres on a woman on a balcony in front of a busy street, with the sounds of the activity below portrayed as a riot of shapes and colours.

Art collection of Fondazione Cariplo

The art collections of Fondazione Cariplo are a gallery of artworks with a significant historical and artistic value owned by Fondazione Cariplo in Italy. It consists of 767 paintings, 116 sculptures, 51 objects and furnishings dating from the 1st century to the second half of the 20th century.

Eric Estorick

Eric Estorick was an American art collector, art dealer and author, who lived in London. He and his wife Salome endowed the Estorick Collection of Modern Italian Art in Canonbury, north London.

Museo del Novecento Museum of twentieth-century art in Milan, Italy

The Museo del Novecento is a museum of twentieth-century art in Milan, in Lombardy in northern Italy. It is housed in the Palazzo dell'Arengario, near Piazza del Duomo in the centre of the city.

<i>Development of a Bottle in Space</i>

Development of a Bottle in Space is a bronze futurist sculpture by Umberto Boccioni. Initially a sketch in Boccioni’s "Technical Manifesto of Futurist Sculpture"," the design was later cast into bronze by Boccioni himself in the year 1913. Consistent with many of themes in Boccioni’s manifesto, the work of art highlights the artist’s first successful attempt at creating a sculpture that both molds and encloses space within itself.

<i>Dynamism of a Cyclist</i> 1913 painting by Umberto Boccioni

Dynamism of a Cyclist is a 1913 painting by Italian Futurist artist Umberto Boccioni (1882–1916) that demonstrates the Futurist fascination with speed, modern methods of transport, and the depiction of the dynamic sensation of movement.

<i>States of Mind I:The Farewells</i> Painting by Umberto Boccioni

States of Mind I:The Farewells is the first in a series of three oil paintings by the Italian Futurist painter Umberto Boccioni which are all in the collection of the Museum of Modern Art (MOMA) in New York City. Executed in 1911 and set in a railway station, the three works attempt to depict the psychological aspects of the drama and emotion of modern travel.

Laura Mattioli is an Italian art historian, a collector and a curator. Since 2013, she has been the President of the Center for Modern Italian Art in New York City.


  1. "ERIC AND SALOME ESTORICK FOUNDATION, registered charity no. 1046374". Charity Commission for England and Wales.