I owned a card to visit four Villa’s in the city centre of Milan. One of three I visited touched me the most. It’s a Villa situated and hidden nearby the ugly shopping street Corso Buenos Aires in Milan. The Villa is called Casa Museo Boschi Di Stefano, after the names of the former owners Antonio Boschi (1896-1988) and Marieda Di Stefano (1901-1968). The Villa houses an extraordinary private collection of Modern Art. The couple collected over 2000 works of art and there are 300 works of it on show in their former house. Some works of art are even exposed in the bathroom, between the toilet, the sink and the bath. That’s what you expect from the use of space by real collectors.
The works on show are exhibited in chronological order from the early Italian modernism of Severini and Boccioni to the Zero works of Lucio Fontana and Piero Manzoni. All paintings and ceramics are made by Italian artists, except for one painting of a seascape who is made by the Belgian painter Constant Permeke and a few abstract paintings (in the bathroom) who are made by the Englishman Ralph Rumney. And last but not least, they present one work of Paula Modersohn Becker in the exhibition.
In this former house there are many other interesting works on show of e.g. Filippo De Pisis, Georgio Morandi, Carrà and De Chirico. This Milanese house shows not only great works of art, but the works are also presented in a light and vibrant atmosphere. Some other Villa’s I saw are dark and their interior is obviously decorated with the taste of another decade; with harnesses, religious Maria icons and carved four-poster beds. It’s interesting to see for one time, but after a visit you want to go outside to see the daylight again. This Villa is modern and stays modern, because of the spirit of the owners, their good taste and the modern works on show. I want to stay there, but would eventually replace the furniture for modern design.