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Academy of Art and Craftsmanship

Academy of Art and Craftsmanship

The Accademia Toscana di Arti e Manifatture, which has been annexed to the Istituto Tecnico Toscano since 1850, originated a long time ago, and can in fact be traced to the Corpo degli Artigiani set up in 1807 at the Academy of Fine Arts. On the first Sunday of the month, these artisans were admitted to a special “gathering” attended by teachers of architecture, mathematics and decoration at the Academy of Fine Arts, for the purpose of “reasoning on practical cases proposed by the members, with the topic of the gathering being chosen by appointed professors”.

A little later in 1809, the functions and aims of the Corpo degli Artigiani were absorbed by a new institute desired by the French government of Tuscany: the “Conservatory of Arts and Crafts”, at the Academy of Fine Arts. It had two schools: the first one, of elementary mechanics, and the second, of chemistry as applied to the arts.

In 1813 the Academy of Fine Arts was organised into three “classes”:

  • the first: Art of Drawing
  • the second: Music and Declamation
  • the third: Arts and Crafts.

The functions of the Conservatory

The functions of the Conservatory, of its schools (Mechanics and Chemistry), of the consultant professors and the associates of the Conservatory were then organised under the new name of “Third Class of the Academy of Arts and Crafts”.

In 1832 a specific Statute was drawn up for the Third Class of the Academy and for the first time appeared the designation of “Academy of Arts and Craftsmanship”, which summarises the previous functions with the relative names and of “Class of Arts and Craftsmanship” one, that refers more precisely to the schools of Arts and Crafts.

Statute of the Istituto Tecnico Toscano

The aims and the composition of the Academy of Arts and Craftsmanship at the moment of its association with the Istituto Tecnico Toscano can be seen clearly in its Statute, under the Titolo X.
Statute of the Istituto Tecnico Toscano, Titolo X:

Art. 32
The aim of the Accademia delle Arti e Manifatture is to combine the most eminent industrialists and manufacturers into a single association, and to connect them with deserving Scientists and citizens of the national industry.

Art. 33
Furthermore, this Academy aids in disseminating discoveries that are useful to the Arts and to trade,  by means of its gatherings and with the publication of its Proceedings.

Art. 34
It is composed of five orders of members. The first one is the honorary members one, who are a part of the academic body for having favoured national industry by promoting some manufactures or excavations of mines in the country, or by improving the conditions of artisans.

The second is the scientists one, who belong to the Academy in virtue of the public consideration that they deserve for sure proofs of ability in the physical and mathematical sciences, and in the applications of these to industrial Arts.

The third order of members is the producers one, who are a part of the Academy as owners of substantial factories and manufactories.

The fourth order is that of the experts who belong to the Academy for having given unquestionable demonstrations of expertise in some work processes.

The fifth order is the foreign members one, who are scientists, producers or experts, in accordance with the same titles the Tuscan academics define themselves as scientists, producers, or experts.