In Italy in the early twentieth century the decorative arts were used to interpret the desire for progress of a nation that had only just found its unity. Cabinetmakers, ceramicists and glass-makers all worked together with the leading artists, creating a veritable "Italian style".
This period of extraordinary creativity is recalled through around a hundred works in a chronological display. The "Liberty" style, which came into its own at the turn of the century, is recalled with designs by Carlo Bugatti, Eugenio Quarti and Federico Tesio mixed with works by the Divisionist painters. A second section is devoted to Futurism, its esthetic inspired by progress and speed extending to every aspect of life.
Later, the return to classicism in Italy came in various guises, finding its expression in the ceramics of Gio Ponti or the glass creations of Carlo Scarpa, up to the stern language of the "Novecento".
Meanwhile, the rationalist style marked the advent of modern "design".