M.A.C.A.M. is the Italian acronym for Open air Museum of Contemporary Art in Maglione. The small village where the Museum is placed, is a villagemuseum in itself, as the art pieces are located on the houses' walls.
The Museum was born in 1985 under the initiative of Maurizio Corgnati, a Maglione inhabitant, writer, director, "rural philosopher" and, above all, expert of cusuine, wines and art. Art was a passion he followed all his life, and he was not only a patron and collector but also a dear friend to the many artists he visited and was in touch with.
Corgnati was born and lived in Maglione; after some years spent in our city because of his job in cinema and television, he returned in his village and, following his passion for art, he decided to create a personal museum, to surround himself with images of art, and above all, to share them with people and to bring them back to a downtoearth, everyday dimension; for these reasons he didn't construct a building for the artworks.
Corgnati felt he had a deep link with his native village. Maglione was at the time a mostly unknown village. He saw the houses, courtyards, and small lanes of the town, which seem to stand miracolously, despite their simple, weak architecture of lime and sand, as the set for something new, something none thought of before among these buildings.
He said of Maglione “whoever is born there, would not want to have been born everwhere else in the world”; “an environment of widsom and patience, that only rural culture and tradition can carry”.
In a few months Corgnati started attracting new artists in the town, and on 40 years not less that 70 artworks were born created on walls. Little by little the village inhabitants, started to understand the purpose and meaning of his project, and more and more of them conceded the use of their walls for the museum.
It is remarkable that artists always adhered to the initiative without much financial support but with a lot of enthusiasm (and a rich lunch offered and prepared by Corgnati himself). Artists like Ugo Nespolo, Giò Pomodoro, Armando Testa, all appreciated this form of payment. They enjoyed the company of their friend, the town and the time spent together more than a “commercial event”; they did it in the name of art and friendship.