Free entrance by appointment.
Museum and house of birth with a collection of artwork by sculptor Mario Bernasconi (1899 – 1963) and his wife, the painter Irma Bernasconi Pannes (1902 – 1971). The house of birth exhibits the artwork of the Twenties with drawings, stories, photographs and personal objects from the sculptor.
Mario Bernasconi was born in 1899 in Pazallo, in the house in front of the museum. Trained at the school of Luigi Vassalli and then by Giuseppe Foglia, he learnt how to sculpt marble and to work clay. He drew bas-reliefs, studied the human body and was fully convinced that his future lay in art. At twenty-two, he obtained his first Federal scholarship that was renewed for three consecutive years; many works were created in Pazzallo during his first years and perhaps they constitute his best works.
Bernasconi went on many study trips giving his preference to Siena and Florence and continued training thanks to his contacts with artists and intellectuals. He worked in the German part of Switzerland, in Zurich, Bern and Glarona. In 1925 he produced the work “Il curato di campagna” (the country priest). In 1927 new horizons opened up for him. His marriage with Irma Pannes took him to Germany and his first stop was Berlin, then Breslau, Krefeld, Franfurt, Dusseldorf, Wiesbaden, Freiburg, Darmastadt and finally Munich where he was able to exhibit his works at the “Staatliche Kunstausstellung”.
He disseminated his art works wherever he lived and the best families bought them. In 1929 he returned to his homeland, a homeland which he loved and which he had always had trouble leaving but where as a young artist he had had to struggle hard to find his vocation and make himself known.
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