Archivio Progetti, Università Iuav di Venezia – Fondo Giorgio Casali
Project Archive is a document centre that hosts various types of archive collections from a wide range of sources on the subject area of architecture and, in a broad sense, of design.
Project Archive includes the collections of:
- professionals who have carried out their activity in the fields of architecture, engineering, town planning and design, who have often been professors at the IUAV University or at other universities;
- architectural and design photographers;
- particularly significant craftsmen in the history of design;
- institutions that organise exhibitions and architectural competitions;
- IUAV facilities: research groups, PhD labs, etc.
Project Archive orderly organises, catalogues and preserves the archives acquired, creates inventories, publishes abstract books and monographs, disseminates and promotes its collections also by organising exhibitions, workshops and meetings.
Project Archive includes the Giorgio Casali Collection, which comprises over 120,000 photographs and negatives, besides all documents related to the photo studio and a large number of personal papers. It is an essential source for the iconographic documentation of Italian architecture and design in the 1900s.
Giorgio Casali (1913-1995) was initially employed as an assistant by Rambaldi Photo Studio in 1923, where he learnt the profession of photographer.
In 1940, with Giorgio Muzzarelli, he established the company S.E.M. in via Cappuccini 21, Milan.
In 1950, he opened his own photo studio in the same premises. Around 1953, he moved to via Col di Rosso, with his son Oreste as his assistant who joined him in the early half of the ’70s.
Subsequently, he approached architectural photography encouraged by Piero Bottoni, whose early works he filmed in the Milanese district QT8. In 1951, he photographed the chair Superleggera [ultra-light] for Gio Ponti, and established an ongoing professional partnership with the “Domus” magazine, which will continue until the early ’80s. At the same time, he partnered with other Italian architectural and décor magazines as well as with leading Italian architects and designers and several companies in the design sector.
Giorgio Casali’s professional experience includes partnerships with artists Lucio Fontana, Fausto Melotti and Umberto Milani. In 1971 he was awarded the “A d'oro” prize, and his participation in several exhibitions during the subsequent years confirms the professional expertise achieved in Italian architectural, design and furnishing photography, both in terms of advertising and publishing.
The works presented here include photo shoots centred on Rinascente during the period ca. 1955-1970. More specifically, they document the project for the Rinascente Store in Piazza Fiume, Rome, including interior fittings for the various departments; Gino Valle and Herbert Ohl’s project for Centro La Rinascente in Milan and the special market SMA in Castiglione Olona. The photographs also document fittings for the exhibition “Omaggio alla Spagna” (1955), and for the exhibition Kartell (1967), both of which were held at Rinascente Milan, in Piazza Duomo.