The purpose of the Michelangelo Foundation for Creativity and Craftsmanship is to revitalise, initially in Europe and subsequently on a world scale, the precious heritage of creativity and fine craftsmanship.
Conceived by Johann Rupert, enlightened South African entrepreneur, and founded by him and myself in Geneva (an international city par excellence), the Michelangelo Foundation is quickly becoming the link that was lacking between associations, institutions, foundations and other cultural bodies across Europe that are engaged, at various levels, in the promotion of artistic crafts.
The very choice of the name Michelangelo is emblematic. The supreme master lived at a time when Italy was just a cultural notion. Outstanding artist and highly skilled artisan, the “Divine” Michelangelo is the eloquent emblem of the heights that talent can attain through the fortunate meeting of art, technique and, of course, the client or patron. For the Michelangelo Foundation, promoting, protecting and perpetuating artistic crafts is important also to secure adequate employment to tomorrow’s talent and, at the same time, to ensure that the new elites will have access to the wonderful objects that give value to our choices.
Fine craftsmanship is the expression of a territory, of the history and evolution of our times, and it can also be an important vehicle of culture and work. At a time when technology seems to be replacing the human hand everywhere, the Michelangelo Foundation is engaged in the promotion of what only talent, workmanship and creativity can so splendidly achieve.
In this way, fine craftsmanship can be saved from the standardisation often brought about by digitisation. For this reason, the Michelangelo Foundation is implementing some original projects that combine various initiatives in an ideal creative course. Like networking, to connect and promote different realities and activities in order to create effective synergies. Another tool is the definition of a common vocabulary to talk about artistic crafts and define excellence. Hence the publication of the volume “The Master’s Touch. Essential elements of artisanal excellence”, which was recently presented in London, Paris and Eindhoven. The Michelangelo Foundation also encourages the relationship between design and craftsmanship through projects such as “Doppia Firma” (doppiafirma.com).
Moreover, the Foundation fosters the diffusion of the know-how of great European craftspeople through meaningful events such as Homo Faber, an unprecedented celebration of skills at the highest level that will take place in Venice in September.
The new Michelangelo wants to be free to create tomorrow’s beauty. Thus the Foundation bearing his name works, plans and develops projects that will allow every Michelangelo - inspired not only by torment but also by ecstasy - to make our lives better thanks to his or her talent.