Masterly – The Dutch in Milan @ Salone Milan 2016

Masterly – The Dutch in Milan @ Salone Milan 2016

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The Dutch Pavilion at Palazzo Francesco Turati – – a palace of unprecedented beauty, skilfully restored to its original state – presented ” Masterly – The Dutch in Milano ” in a synergetic connection with historic objects and paintings

The palace was built between 1873 and 1876 at the request of Count Fransesco Turati, a well-respected tradesman in the cotton industry.

Architect Enrico Combi, registered with the Accademia di Belle Arti di Brera, designed and built the marvellous neo renaissance palace, right at the heart of the town centre in walking distance of the Duomo.

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This was the first time that the recently fully restored Palazzo Turati opened its doors during the Salone del Mobile

The work of designers, craftspeople, manufacturers and design studios landed in the heart of the 5vie area, inundating the 1500 square metres of a historic mansion long closed to the public.

The perfectly restored historic spaces at the Palazzo Francesco Turati are characterised by the beautifully laid wooden floors, marble doors and ornaments in gold lustre, wall coverings in velvet and silk and stunning hand carved panelling.

The Palazzo Francesco Turati is in use by the Milan Chamber of Commerce.


The outstanding Italian craftsmanship forms a great decor for the intriguing museum exhibition of Dutch design past and present

This combination of sublime historic craftsmanship with authentic and scintillating contemporary design leads to successful and fascinating the great summer exhibitions at the Paleis Oranienbaum (nearby Berlin, 2012) and the Royal Showpieces exhibitions at the Paleis Het Loo (2014 & 2015).

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Curated by Nicole Uniquole, the exhibition offered a 360° vision of the country’s creativity with the aim of showing how successfully Dutch design transfers traditional craft methods to contemporary design production.

Works by more than 125 designers and artists – chosen for the design quality, originality, material choice and craftsmanship – populated the period salons of Palazzo Turati in dialogue with a selection of paintings from the Dutch Golden Age.

From furniture to carpets, from jewellery to porcelain, from textile to lighting fixtures, from fashion to photography. Masterly – The Dutch in Milano offers an interdisciplinary overview of Dutch design anno 2016.

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The entrance is one that Holland likes to behold, 15,000 tulips as far as the eye can see.

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Also featured in the Palazzo’s central courtyard area, for visitors to relax amongst the tulip flower field was the Bo Reudler’s tubular  furniture  for JSPR

Whilst the various corridors and interiors of the Palazzo exhibited hundreds of impressive works

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masterly dutch salone milan 2016

Design week 4



Dutch Neo-Craft

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Until recently Dutch Design was much more conceptual, pushing functionality out of prime focus. This is now clearly changing.

Masterly is here to show a new generation of Dutch designers.

With increased appreciation for the artisan techniques and desire for durable, sustainable design in end products, a new generation of designers is at work.

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Rising environmental awareness has also re-introduced the responsibility designers have, to address issues and provide solutions.

This represents a significant shift in the role designers play in our society.

At Masterly, there were many works featuring this new attitude.





Masterly – The Dutch in Milan showed the ability of Dutch design to successfully apply traditional craftsmanship techniques to the manufacture of contemporary design.

The Palazzo functioned under two distinct environments – Historical and Contemporary thereby coherently delineating the design formats shown


Historical Perspectives

In the historic spaces of the Palazzo, historic and contemporary design melt into a breath taking exhibition.

Historic paintings function as the common thread for the designers who engaged into a dialogue with a selection of Golden Age Dutch paintings.


Contemporary Perspectives

The contemporary spaces of the Palazzo Francesco Turati, are located around the courtyard on the ground floor and surrounding the historical rooms on the first floor.



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The visit to Masterly ended up in the sky on the 300 sq mtr roof top terrace which provided phenomenal views of the city eg Duomo, Castello Sforzesco, the new skyscrapers of Milan. And into the distance the snow covered alpine mountains just north of Milan

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What to do with all the Tulips when the show is over ?

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Masterly – The Dutch in Milan / Catalogue

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The Masterly Catalogue is a limited edition book, which combines refined images of the historical Palazzo with contemporary design and fashion.

The special glued binding with a yellow thread, allowed the full opening of the pages, so readers did not lose even one millimeter of the magnificent images inside.


Masterly – The Dutch in Milan  / The Exhibitor Guide

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masterly map

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Masterly in Milan – Official Launch

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In collaboration with the Dutch Embassy, the consulate-general, the Milan Chamber of Commerce and the 5VIE district press presentations were organised in the presence of:

Nicole Uniquole, curator of the Dutch Pavilion;
Renilde Steeghs,
Ambassador for Foreign Affairs Dutch Ministry
Cristina Tajani,
City of Milan’s Cabinet Member for Labour Policies, Economic Development, University and Research, Fashion and Design
Luigi Amato Molinari,
Presidente della Camera Arbitrale Nazionale e Internazionale di Milano, Azienda speciale della Camera di Commercio di Milano
Willem Jan Hoogsteder,
expert Dutch and Flemisch Old Master paintings
Bas Ernst,
responsible for Cultural programmes of the Embassy of The Netherlands in Rome
Margo Curto,
responsible for Cultural programmes of the Consulate of The Netherlands in Milano


About Nicole Uniquole

nicole uniquole

Nicole Uniquole started Uniquole in 1996 as an independent consultancy.

Nicole Uniquole is the driving force and has made a name for herself as curator and internationally operating independent exhibition creator and art director at the cutting edge of historic and dutch design.

She offers strategic advice to businesses, governments and museums on image, positioning and collections to carry.

She is the initiator and organiser of the events Masterly in Amsterdam and Masterly in Milan.

nicole uniquole


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