Museo del Violino

Cremona, Italy


The knowledge acquired over five centuries of the making of string instruments in Cremona has recently been added to Unesco’s list of Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity. This history is told of in the new Museo del Violino, which is housed in a palazzo in Piazza Marconi that was renovated just for the purpose of hosting the museum. Here there are ten rooms that make for an extraordinary exhibition narrative featuring masterpieces by Stradivari, Guarneri del Gesù and Amati. There is also an auditorium with perfect acoustics.

The exhibition narrative is a journey into the history of bowed string instruments with rare examples, documents and multimedia installations featuring sounds and images.

Exhibition design: Studio Arkpabi, Cremona

The challenge

For the Museo del Violino in Cremona, Goppion was asked to create display cases that would offer absolute security to this patrimony of violinmaking. Drawer cases were needed for holding things such as designs, forms and tools, which were handed down from Antonio Stradivari’s workshop and donated to the city in 1930 by luthier Giuseppe Fiorini. Finally, there was the need for pieces for temporary exhibitions organized in collaboration with Friends of Stradivarius.

The solution

Goppion worked with architects Giorgio Palù and Michele Bianchi to optimize design choices and study their feasibility. It took care of engineering the display cases. Thus, these instruments of inestimable value are protected by the most advanced technologies to control the relative humidity via a hygroscopic system, which can absorb or release the water vapor so that the concentration in the air stays within range of the desired value. This is achieved by the preconditioning of the hygroscopic material and further enhanced by a timed-fan system that can automatically activate to accelerate the process of creating a homogenous environment of air currents inside the display case. For the lighting system, Paolo Rodighero, a lighting designer for theater productions, was involved in selecting the lighting devices and ideal optics to illuminate the precious instruments from afar in the most consistent and balanced way. These instruments seem to float in their display cases, as magical and ethereal as their harmonies.

This museum in Cremona represents a prestigious milestone in Goppion’s work dedicated to music museums, which have played quite a significant role over the years as one of the major themes woven throughout the company’s history.