Info about the digital exhibition

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Laces ENAPI Fund


The main purpose of the virtual exhibition on lace that the Biblioteca delle Arti has planned is to emphasize one of the most valuable expressions of Italian handicraft. This tradition was once very popular and deeply rooted throughout the whole Italian territory.

With the passing of years this tradition has consolidated up to become a source of pride internationally.

The exhibition on lace is the start of a series of appointments that the Biblioteca delle Arti has planned in order to promote the ENAPI  Fund: a collection mostly made up of exhibition catalogues and publications concerning  universal expositions held during the twenties and thirties of the last century.

Scrolling the images the visitor has the opportunity to enter into a multifaceted journey: the visits starts  with the story of ENAPI the public institution whose aim was to enhance and promote the craftsmanship and to promote the small industries, going on the visitor’s attention  is  caught by the images of luxurious laces, dating from the sixteenth to the twentieth century. The visitor will also witness the importance of these artifacts by detecting them on famous paintings of important artists.

The exhibition consists of six sections:

Section I: ENAPI  Fund. This section describes the story of ENAPI  from its foundation in 1925  to its abolition in 1978.

Section II: Lace and Myth. A digression on popular legends and classic works inspired to the connection between  myth and lace.

Section III: Lace and Figurative Arts. In the late 16th century lace became dominant in fashion. Depictions of lacemaking in genre paintings of the seventeenth century, as well as the numerous portraits of fashionably dressed men and women wearing lace accessories, demonstrate the importance of this fabric.

Section IV: Tecniques. Handmade lace falls into two basic technical categories: needle and bobbin widely spread throughout the Italian territory.

Section V: The museums of lace in Italy. A list of lace museums  that house important samples of laces and lace making tools.

Section VI: Publications coming from the ENAPI Fund. A list of publications of the ENAPI Fund accompanied by brief informative notes.


Scientific Committee: Isabella Cianfarani, Enrico Formone, Carla Necci, Daniela Rossi, Norma Talini

Texts: Isabella Cianfarani, Daniela Rossi, Norma Talini

Research: Isabella Cianfarani, Daniela Rossi, Norma Talini

Videomaking and digitization: Enrico Formone, Carla Necci

Digital exhibition design and curation: Carla Necci

Web designer: Carla Necci

Acknowledgements: Giancarlo Buzzanca, Vincenzo Tridico, Maria Teresa Natale, Andrea Tempera

Biblioteca delle Arti participated in the MOVIO experimentation within the AthenaPlus project, proposing this digital exhibition on laces.


Biblioteca delle Arti - Direzione generale belle arti e paesaggio

Scientific Committee

Isabella Cianfarani, Enrico Formone, Carla Necci, Daniela Rossi, Norma Talini


Biblioteca delle Arti

Presentation video


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