I vividly remember when the first book on the history of Bvlgari was published in 1996. In addition to being thrilled about the publication by Amanda Triossi and Daniella Mascetti, I was shocked by what Paolo and Nicola Bulgari wrote in the introduction. They said, “When the idea of publishing a book dedicated entirely to Bulgari was first mentioned, we were afraid that diving into the past to find our roots would have infringed a fundamental rule we have always tried to follow: to look ahead, to think of the future and to innovate, revolutionize and modernize.”
Back then, I didn’t fully understand the initial reluctance, but now I get it. The Bulgari brothers were still in the midst of creating history. They had been witnesses and participants to the most dynamic years at the firm. Bold forward motion had always been part of the formula for success.
Obviously, the Bulgari brothers saw the value of the book and did go on in the introduction to explain, “Further reflection led us to admit that despite everything, after over more than a hundred years of history, the moment had arrived to go in search of those roots for, perhaps, they are directly correlated to our present.”
After the great success of the first Bvlgari book, the firm went on to establish a Heritage Department. Slowly and steadily they bought back great jewels and built a stellar team of specialists. For the celebration of the 125th Anniversary of the firm in 2009, Bvlgari staged its first solo museum exhibition. Since that initial blockbuster presentation, the pace in the Heritage Department has picked up considerably with any number of museum exhibits around the world. There have also been quite a few publications including, Bvlgari: Treasures of Rome by Vincent Meylan, Bvlgari: The Joy of Gems by Vivienne Becker and the Bvlgari Collection Trilogy on the icons, Serpenti, Bvlgari-Bvlgari and Monete, by yours truly. Each publication has taken a look at a different aspect of Bvlgari’s history.
BVLGARI, The Story, The Dream is a homecoming of sorts. The epic exhibition, that will be open until November 3, 2019, spans two museums in Rome: the Castel Sant’Angelo and Palazzo Venezia. The storyline emphasizes how Italy itself has inspired Bvlgari and, in turn, how the jeweler spread the message of Italian design throughout the world.
Credit to: Marion Fasel
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