Housed in some of the halls of the Ducal Court and on the first and second floors of the Rocchetta, the Museo delle Arti Decorative is the most important collection of its kind in Italy.
The museum documents the evolution of taste and style in the sumptuary, decorative and applied arts from antiquity to the 1950s. The display also includes a collection of 20Th and 21st century artistic glass.

The itinerary through the museum leads viewers through masterpieces and artefacts of exceptional quality created by glassblowers, potters, woodcarvers, violin makers, silver and goldsmiths, gunsmiths, weavers and creators of tapestries active throughout Europe, from the Middle Ages to the 20th century.

The collection

The collection includes tapestries, weapons, ivories, bronzes, ceramics, leather, wrought iron, majolica, jewellery, clocks, porcelain, enamels, fabrics, scientific instruments and glass. The weapons and some tapestries are on display in the first rooms of the Ducal Court; the second floor of the so-called Rocchetta is instead entirely dedicated to the applied arts.

Ivories and tapestries

Among the most significant sections in terms of the sheer value of the works exhibited are those of late Roman and medieval ivories (among the largest collections in the world), gold objects, with some very significant pieces, including a very rare Eucharistic knife, and the bronze section. The twelve Tapestries of the Months, made from a design by Bramantino of 1509, are exhibited in the Balla Room with a new layout that allows for a more homogeneous and continuous reading.

Ceramics, majolica, porcelain, glasses

The sizeable collection of sgraffito ware vases, majolica and porcelain is truly remarkable: in particular, a group of works by Gio Ponti during his period as art director of Richard Ginori. The production of Faenza, Deruta, Urbino, Savona, Albisola and Castelli d’Abruzzo is well-represented in the majolica hall, as is Milanese and Lombard majolica in the central and lateral cabinets of Room 30.

Since 2017 the display also includes the Bellini-Pezzoli glass collection, with a selection of pieces from the 1970s to the present day. These are pieces of exceptionally high formal quality produced in Italy, America and Australia. The breadth and variety of the exhibits in the museum make this one of the most complete collections of its kind in Italy.