The Museo Agostinelli
TRAVEL IN TIME PHOTOGRAPHY Marcello Machelli
The Museo Agostinelli The Museo Agostinelli is not easy to find, only cinema and fiction insiders are at home. The museum is near Rome, in Dragona, a neighborhood between Rome and Ostia, an unusual place for a museum but so it is the museum itself. Museum of Popular Culture and Disappeared Arts and Crafts, should be the right definition, but for everyone it is: Domenico Agostinelli! The museum has an high social and artistic values, recognized as historical memory, was acknowledged from the MIBAC: Ministry of Cultural Heritage and Activities and Tourism, in 1992. Opened in the Sixties, by Domenico Agostinelli, it is now spread on three different sites, of which, the best known is the Via Carlo Casini Museum in Dragona. It is an evolving project, life like , as would say the indefatigable Domenico. It is a unique place, made of smells, dust and objects to touch, feeling memories, and their curiosities. The museum has no thematic form, there are so many objects, they have to be found and handpicked. Patrizia, Domenico Agostinelli’s niece and him, know how to find every little relic around a gigantic area, made of and packed full rooms with incredible pieces, from a dinosaur egg, to a meteorite, passed by some ancient letters or the time capsules, where he placed a small collection to open only in 2050. A sheer number of paintings, vintage photos, all material of ordinary people who retain their charm that survive their owners. Curiosities are in any corner, ask and listen to Domenico’s stories and anecdotes. During a three days photo shooting, Domenico talked about how much objects he saved from waste, between recovery areas, landfills and old scraps, thrown away by people who wanted to free their places there and then. Even the capital of the columns, candelabres from 500dc, were left over, since dented, or some 1500dc Vatican’s doors he found by chance in a landfill, where he spent time and efforts to recover them... are now outside the museum.
People do not realize the treasures they have. They throw everything away, without paying attention to history or the personal values. The Agostinelli museum has been defined in many ways, or as he says, a popular museum, by all means. Domenico Agostinelli is an incredible character, animated by a great desire to know, an innate curiosity that forged him in an expert, a careful judge of every age’s objects. He started collecting sacred images in Abruzzo, his native land, exchanging images and statues with other goods. He is the museum, you can feel it from the energy he puts in every story, his memories and particular life’s vision. The museum is free of charge and subsidized with the rental of objects for film and television productions. He put together a great collection during many travels around the world. You have to be curious, you need to touch, look at the dust to understand what’s underneath it, because when you touch and object, it transmits you its story, he says. The museum is made of a massive amount of things of any kind and shape but it is evolving, from new entries to objects of common use, like the toilet paper, rolls and packs of the seventies. In the sixties they threw away objects of the thirties and forties, which are now antiques or pieces of great interest. A special mention goes to a large medical equipment’s collection, made of containers, tools of any kind, chemical laboratories, medical bags and even dental prostheses. It is a journey among arts, cellars, abandoned houses, old cinemas and small family treasures from over 40 countries and over 50 years. I was impressed by the passion and the help I received during the shooting, sometimes in some difficult conditions, or being demanding for my requests. I enjoyed it very much, I walked around dark corridors, I literally dig into drawers in any areas like a child, a fantastic sensation I hope I can give you back with my images. The museum is worth a visit as well as a chat with the owner.
MUSEUM IN NUMBERS 4000 square meters 820,000 objects 400 collections of various kinds over 1000 irons 250 cameras of various ages 3800 umbrellas 3,000,000 stamps 1,500,000 buttons
is an incredible character, animated by a great desire to know, an innate curiosity that forged him in an expert, a careful judge of every ageâ€™s objects.
CANDLE STICK TELEPHONE
VINTAGE GERMAN FUNKE & HUSTER MINING WALL TELEPHONE
BURKE & JAMES PRESS CAMERA 1948
THORNTON-PICKARD IMPERIAL PERFECTA, HALF-PLATE SIZE
THE MOVIE STAR
ALL PHOTOGRAPHS PUBLISHED IN THIS BOOK "HE MUSEO AGOSTINELLI: TRAVEL IN TIME"" HAVE BEEN PERMITTED BY MARCELLO MACHELLI AND ARE PROTECTED UNDER INTERNATIONAL COPYRIGHT LAW. IT IS FORBIDDEN TO COPY THEM OR RESEND IN ANY OTHER FORM WITHOUT WRITTEN PERMISSION FROM THE AUTHOR. ALL TRADEMARKS, GRAPHIC DESIGNS, LOGOS, NAMES AND OTHER DATA PUBLISHED IN THE MAGAZINE ARE PROTECTED BY COPYRIGHT AND BELONG TO THEIR AUTHORS. ALL COPYRIGHTS FOR PHOTOS BELONG TO MARCELLO MACHELLI.
TRAVEL IN TIME
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Photography by Marcello Machelli