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Embrace creativity at the Estorick Collection of Modern Italian Art

Published: Tuesday 15th of January 2013

While on a visit to London it's not hard to spot beautiful Victorian and Georgian buildings lining the streets.

By looking a little closer visitors will spot that inside one of these such constructions is the Estorick Collection of Modern Italian Art, located just off the Holloway Road.

It's a great site to spend a relaxing afternoon, taking in a combination of sculpture and futurist paintings and is the only art gallery in the country to focus on the importance of modern Italian art.

This site is not only a brilliant place to explore and appreciate, but it also holds regular workshops for adults and children which tie into the permanent exhibitions on display.

Therefore, the Estorick Collection is a must-visit venue for any art lovers or even those with creative energy to spare.


The museum is named after Eric Estorick, who was an American sociologist and writer with a passion for collecting art.

After becoming a well known lecturer at New York University and publishing numerous biographies he began to buy drawings by notable artists such as Picasso, Leger and Braque.

He later discovered Umberto Boccioni's book Futurist Painting and Sculpture, marking the beginning of his passion for Italian art and the movement in general.

Estorick amassed a large collection of Italian art with his wife in the 50s and 60s and went on to hold a series of major public exhibitions, marking his development into a full-time art dealer and showbiz representative.

After a glittering career many museums around the world showed interest in purchasing his collections, however it wasn't until six months prior to his death that Estorick set up the Eric and Salome Estorick Foundation, to which he donated all his Italian works.

A Georgian house was purchased in 1994 with a substantial Heritage Lottery grant to house the pieces, as well as an art library, café and gift shop.

Permanent collections

The Estorick Collection is best known for its outstanding core of Futurist works, a movement which was founded by the poet F.T Marinetti.

Marinetti aimed to develop an aesthetic based on modern life and technology, breaking free from Italy's oppressive cultural and natural heritage.

This inspired young Milanese painters such as Umberto Boccioni, Carlo Carra and Luigi Russolo, who each sought to explore Marinetti's ideas further and bring them to life through visual arts.

Futurist masterpieces such as Boccioni's Modern Idol, Carra's Leaving the Theatre and Balla's The Hand of the Violinist are all on display for visitors to admire.

Other seminal artists to showcase their work include Amedeo Modigliani, Giorgio de Chirico and Massimo Campigli.

As well as drawings, etchings and paintings the gallery features many sculptures made from stone, wax and plaster, with famous pieces from Medardo Rosso, who has been hailed "the greatest living sculptor", by the French writer and critic Apollinaire.

Pieces by Rosso on display include Impressions of the Boulevard: Woman with a veil, from 1893, which is his earliest exhibited work.

This is a must-see for sculpture fans or those in the capital who are simply in need of some creative inspiration.

Save time and money sightseeing in London with free entry to top attractions in London. 

Posted by Georgina Black

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