CUNEO, Galimberti’s house museum
Galimberti’s house Museum represents a unique place to read the very history not only of this town, but of the entire nation. The house is located in the Osasco Palace, and more precisely in the rooms that used to be the family's historic home. The best-known members of this family were Tancredi Galimberti, a brilliant lawyer and politician, and his wife Alice Schanzer, a refined and extremely cultured woman of Viennese origin, a scholar of English literature and a lover of the arts. Tancredi Jr (known as Duccio) and Carlo Enrico were born From this marriage. The family lived in this flat since the palace was built; here, on the ground floor, there was the printing house for “La Sentinella della Alpi”, a newspaper owned by Bartolomeo, Tancredi's father. On the piano nobile (the main floor of the palace) there are to accesses to the museum: one to the private house and one to the lawyer's office. The elegant letters on the glass door are the initials of the house owner: Tancredi Galimberti. The family believed in strong cultural and social values such as: the Risorgimento ideals represented by Mazzini and Garibaldi as well as those of liberté, égalité, fraternité of the French Revolution and Republic and these are clear already already at the very entrance to the museum. The studio still retains the memory of the presence of the lawyer Tancredi senior, who was the Minister of Posts and Telegraphs during the Zanardelli government and Senator of the Fascist Kingdom in 1929. In 1974, in accordance with Carlo Enrico's testamentary wishes, the entire property passed to the Municipality of Cuneo, with the obligation to make it a place of culture and education open to the population.
Just like their parents and grandparents, Duccio Galimberti, the national hero of the anti-fascist Resistance and his brother Carlo Enrico lived in these rooms. They were both convinced anti-fascists but waited for their father's death before taking a clear political stance and an active role in what was to become the Resistance. Here on the walls of the study many objects testify their choice: the partisan patents awarded to the brothers, the Legion of Honour, and the Gold Medal for Military Valour awarded to Duccio. On 26th July 1943, the day after Mussolini’s fall, Duccio and his friends met here just before the famous speech he gave to a square full of celebrating people standing on the balcony of his house. Today the silhouettes on this terrace evoke precisely this fundamental historical moment for our nation: Duccio called the crowd back to reality, because the war was not going to finish until the moment invaders and fascists would be been driven out. This moment represented the birth of the Resistance movement. This very salient passage of Duccio's speech is commemorated on the plaque placed outside the pillar of the porticoes. After this speech, Duccio took to the mountains with his band "Italia Libera". During 1944 he was in charge of the “Giustizia e Libertà” (Justice and Freedom) formations on the Piedmontese territory, until his death. After being captured and tortured, he was barbarously killed by a machine-gun fire on the road to Centallo. It was 3rd December 1944. The following year - immediately after the Liberation - a large town square was dedicated to him and in 1948 he was proclaimed a national hero by the C.L.N. (the Italian National Liberation Committee).
The Galimberti family's great love for art brought together masterpieces of painting and sculpture in this place. This is, in fact, the city’s largest collection of modern art, which was promoted by private individuals but then became public property thanks to Carlo Enrico’s will. It was mainly Alice who followed the purchases and commissions, maintaining close correspondence with the artists, who often became family friends. The most popular one among these was Matteo Olivero, a painter from Saluzzo and exponent of Divisionism. Here his dark Self-portrait in the moonlight, as well as various landscapes and a view of the town painted Spinetta can be admired. Other evocative images of Cuneo are due to Lorenzo Delleani, who received indications from Tancredi himself to paint the pictures from the most pleasing perspective. In addition to works from the Baroque period and portraits of family members, the collection includes a valuable painting by Gaetano Previati. The Galimberti family showed an attachment to patriotic ideals and refined tastes also in the field of sculpture. Portraits of the fathers of the “Risorgimento” populate the rooms but a bust of Garibaldi is particularly striking: it is a terracotta copy of the bronze original that is now placed at the beginning of Viale degli Angeli. This more solemn vein is complemented by a lighter one, as demonstrated by the delightful group of children in Giovanni Prini's “The Secret” or “Lady Constance Stewart-Richardson” -the sensual dancer. The house contains not only paintings and sculptures, but also books and documents. Noteworthy are both its archive and its large library, which hosts 27,000 volumes. Today they are both available to scholars upon request.
Direction: Paolo Ansaldi
Post-Production: VDEA Produzioni
Translation: Europa 92
Copywrite and research: Laura Marino
ATL del Cuneese
Cristina Giordano, Sandra Viada
Immagini per gentile concessione dell’archivio Museo Casa Galimberti - fondo fotografico famiglia Galimberti