The family of the founder of the Museo d’Arte e Scienza, Gottfried Matthaes, came from the art city of Dresden, which around 1900 became a hub of modern European painting. It is here that in 1906 the founder’s aunt Gertrude Matthaes and her husband Walter Kurau founded a renowned school of painting, based first in Dresden and then, from 1927, in Berlin. In this city, in 1930, they were commissioned to decorate the great walls of the famous “Pergamon Museum”.
It was during this period that the school put together a teaching collection of Graeco-Roman and Etruscan art, part of which on exhibit at the Museo d’Arte e Scienza in Milan and declared by decree of 5.5.1997 of the Italian Ministry of Culture and the Environment a “Collection of exceptional historical and cultural interest”.
Gottfried Matthaes invents the first printed circuit (CHIP)
In 1932 the school was closed and a part of the collections was inherited by their nephew Gottfried. As a physicist, the marriage of physics, science and art was a constant in his life. In 1949 he invented the first printed circuit (CHIP) for Siemens Germany, and shortly after, together with an Italian partner – Egidio Cozzi – set up his own factory in Milan to produce them in series.
Palazzo Bonacossa, headquarters of the Museo d’Arte e Scienza
It was in 1990, however, that Gottfried Matthaes left his industrial activities to concentrate on a theme he felt to be of prime importance: the determination of authenticity in art. In effect he had already been carrying out research for years to develop a dating method that was more reliable than the existing ones and which would enable him to scientifically date the over one thousand wooden objects in his collection. That same year he acquired two floors of Palazzo Bonacossa in Milan and set up the “Didactic Museum for the Recognition of Fake Antiques”.
“Arte Autentica” Scientific Laboratory
The Museo d’Arte e Scienza houses the “Arte Autentica” scientific laboratory, specializing in spectroscopic dating, directed since 1988 by Dr. Chem. Peter Matthaes.
Further info at: www.arteautentica.it
African Art Section
2001 saw the inauguration of the section dedicated to African Art. Over the years the Museum has expanded its displays, adding to its sections on authenticity various art exhibitions of excellence on Non-European Art: in particular, the permanent exhibition on Buddhist Art, considered today one of the finest in Italy, of artefacts from Thailand and Burma, and the section dedicated to African Art, comprising over 300 items of great art historical value from various ethnic groups of Black Africa.
In the same year the Museum changed its name twice, from “Art Collector’s Museum” to the current “Museo d’Arte e Scienza”, keeping intact, however, its initial spirit of service to art.
Permanent Exhibition on Leonardo da Vinci
Permanent Exhibition on Buddhist Art
Lindau, Germany second headquarters of the scientific laboratory
In 2008 the scientific laboratory opened second headquarters in Germany, at Nonnenhorn, Lindau, focused on Northern Europe and managed by Dr. Martin Matthaes.
Peter and Patrizia Matthaes
In 2010, after a long illness, Gottfried Matthaes died and his children Peter and Patrizia Matthaes took over the management of the Museum.
In the same year they started up the Amici del Museo d’Arte e Scienza Association and launched a whole series of projects not only of a cultural nature, but of innovation, restoration and scientific development, aimed at making an increasingly incisive and crucial contribution towards protecting and promoting our artistic heritage, thus carrying on their father’s legacy.