The Galleria del Cavallino Archive donated to the Fondazione Giorgio Cini

Paolo Cardazzo’s heirs have presented the documentary archive of the renowned Venetian art gallery to the Institute of Art History, along with Edizioni del Cavallino publications and a collection of graphic art works

The holdings of the Fondazione Giorgio Cini Institute of Art History have been enhanced thanks to the generosity of the Cardazzo family, who have donated the remarkable archive of the gallery-owner and collector Carlo Cardazzo (1908 – 1963) and his son Paolo. The archive documents the history of the Galleria del Cavallino in Venice from 1942 to the early 2000s. The heirs have also donated books and graphic works published by Edizioni del Cavallino. The graphic works will supplement the collections in the Fondazione Cini Library and in its Drawings and Prints Cabinet, thus providing a significant window on 20th-century art.


The archive documents consist of around 400 box files, folders and albums containing photographs, letters, invitations and the very rare Galleria del Cavallino catalogues. They are evidence of the exhibiting activities of the gallery, which organised a total 1,040 exhibitions from the 1940s to the early 2000s. In the 1950s, for example, Cardazzo’s Milan and Venice galleries staged solo exhibitions of artists destined to become great masters of modern art, such as: Fontana, Braque, Picasso, Pollock, Kandinsky, Miró, Jorn, S. Delaunay, Burri, Poliakoff, Mathieu, Dubuffet, Franz Kline, Schwitters, Brauner, Matta, Twombly and Jasper Johns.


The most important documents in the Cardazzo Archive include a rich correspondence with great writers and artists, such as Cesare Zavattini, Giorgio Morandi and Filippo De Pisis, Carlo Cardazzo’s letters to the artist Giuseppe Cesetti and a large collection of photographs and documents concerning the work of the painter Bruno Saetti.

Another particularly interesting aspect is the photographic documentation and correspondence concerning the creation of the Book Pavilion at the Venice Biennale (1950). There is also an important collection of videotapes put together by Paolo Cardazzo. They marked a turning point in his management of the gallery in the 1970s and ‘80s, characterised by a significant new interest in the international scene and closer relations with the countries in Yugoslavia.


As well as presenting the archive, the Cardazzo heirs have arranged for the donation of around 150 volumes published by Edizioni del Cavallino, including some rare editions and over 140 lithographs and artists’ proofs, specially made for the gallery (Campigli, Capogrossi, Carrà, Bacci and Gino Morandis are among the most significant artists).

Thanks to this donation, the Fondazione Giorgio Cini now has a complete corpus of exhibition catalogues from Cardazzo’s three galleries (the Cavallino, Venice, the Naviglio, Milan and the Selecta, Rome). The catalogues are to be comprehensively digitised so that in future the printed material produced by the gallery will be available for use in electronic format.

The archive is currently being inventoried and studied thanks also to the contribution of Vittore Branca Center scholarships.


For further information:

Institute of Art

Tel.: +39 041 2710306