m.a.x. museo





Inauguration: Friday 19.05.2017, 6.30 pm
Exhibition curated by: Mario Piazza and Nicoletta Ossanna Cavadini

Summer closing of the m.a.x. museo: from Monday 31.07.2017 to Monday 21.08.2017 inclusive


To mark 100 years since the foundation of La Rinascente in Milan (1917), the exhibition celebrates the well-known department store’s role in fostering graphic design and communication. Ever since its inception it has always been a true experimental laboratory in the history of graphics and design.


The exhibition features over 500 items, including posters – some in large format –  placards, advertising, postcards, wrapping paper, greetings cards, sketches, photographic campaigns, and much else. Slender, sophisticated women wearing scarves and ready to catch a flight together with their suitcases; rocking horses that visit sleeping children at night, escalators climbing to giddy heights, blue fish dancing in a circle or Santa Claus looking out of a bag overflowing with gifts.


From the Art Nouveau posters designed by Marcello Dudovich to the monogram “lR” designed by Max Huber or photographs by Oliviero Toscani, La Rinascente’s history offers us a century of always surprising avant-garde corporate communication.
The exhibition also recounts the work of many collaborators, today regarded as true masters in the field of graphics, visual communication and design, including Achille Luciano Mauzan, Marcello Dudovich, Leopoldo Metlicovitz, Max Huber, Albe Steiner, Lora Lamm, Giancarlo Iliprandi, Brunetta Mateldi Moretti, Pegge Hopper, Roberto Maderna, Roberto Sambonet, Massimo Vignelli, Aoi Huber Kono, Heinz Waibl, Salvatore Gregorietti, Giovanna Graf, Ettore Mariani, Italo Lupi, Richard Sapper, Mario Bellini and many others, without neglecting photographers such as Aldo Ballo, Ugo Mulas, Serge Libiszewski and Oliviero Toscani.


Because of the value of the initiative, the exhibition enjoys the patronage of the Italian Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, as well as the Consulate General of Italy in Lugano.
At the same time, with a complementary design, Palazzo Reale in Milan, in the Prince’s Suite, will be presenting “lR100. RINASCENTE. Stories of innovation” (24 May – 24 September 2017) focused on the history of the department store.


The exhibition at the m.a.x. museo has been made possible thanks to the Office of Education and Cultural Activities of the Municipality of Chiasso, thanks to La Rinascente as main sponsor, with the support of the Republic and Canton of Ticino-Fondo Swisslos, AGE SA and the association of friends of the m.a.x. museo.


Collateral events


“Kronos Quartet in Concert”
Saturday 20 May, 8.30 pm
at the Cinema Teatro, Chiasso
in collaboration with Musica in Mendrisiotto, Arte & Musica sul Lario,
Teatro Sociale di Como As.Li.Co., RSI Rete Due


David Harrington, violin
John Sherba, violin
Hank Dutt, viola

Sunny Yang, cello


Combined ticket with entrance to the exhibition at the m.a.x. museo
(ticket available at the Teatro Cinema)

International Museum Day

Sunday 21 May


Free admission for all to the exhibition at the m.a.x. museo
10 am–12 noon
2 pm–6 pm


“The butterfly Lì, the mascot of the m.a.x. museo:
The courage to fly between graphics and art”
Free workshop for children and families
2.30 pm–4.30 pm
© animaBIRIKI
with snacks


With our cultural mediators, the children will visit and discover the exhibition “La Rinascente”. 100 years of corporate creativity through graphics”, looking at advertisements from the early twentieth century to the present. The artists, graphic designers and illustrators who worked for La Rinascente gave their imagination free rein and they were innovative and surprising.
The children will then be invited to use pastels and paper of all shades to colour the world of the butterfly Lì, the m.a.x. museo’s charming mascot.
The essential ingredients will be imagination and boldness!
Finally we will all place our little butterflies on a great butterfly displayed at the entrance to the m.a.x. museo, so that each visitor can admire its giant coloured wings.

A day out in Milan

With the association of friends of the m.a.x. museo
Thursday 25 May (Ascension), 8.30 am–7.30 pm


A guided tour of the exhibition at the Palazzo Reale with the curators,
Sandrina Bandera and Maria Canella
Aperitif on the terrace of La Rinascente with a welcome from Monica Ferreri, Marketing and Communications Director at La Rinascente, in the presence of the graphic designer Lora Lamm and the photographer Serge Libiszewski
Lunch on the Navigli
afternoon free


by coach

registration required by Tuesday, 23 May

Public lecture

Public lecture by Mario Piazza
professor in the Department of Design, Design School of the Politecnico di Milano and co-curator of the exhibition at the m.a.x. museo
“La Rinascente tra grafica e design: un modello creativo”
Tuesday, 30 May 6.30 pm
in the Foyer, Cinema Teatro, Chiasso


evening opening of the m.a.x. museo until 10.30 pm

Annual meeting of friends of the m.a.x museo

2017 Annual general meeting of the association of friends of the m.a.x. museo
Tuesday, 30 May 8 pm
the exhibition will be followed
by drinks

Educational workshop

“The design of an object between imagination and reality”
Wednesday, 31 May, 3 pm–5 pm
for young children!
with snacks


Bookings required: eventi@maxmuseo.ch
In 1954, La Rinascente instituted the “Compasso d’Oro” award, the most important accolade offered by Italian design, which has also been won by Swiss graphic designers. Over the years, numerous objects have been designed and become veritable design icons. Together we will be looking at some of these products and enjoying ourselves designing new ones, between imagination and reality.

Catalogue presentation

Presentation of the m.a.x museo’s exhibition catalogue
Thursday, 8 June, 7 pm
at Palazzo Reale, Milan


“Graphics and Design”
with the curators, Nicoletta Ossanna Cavadini and Mario Piazza, and Professor Raimonda Riccini (IUAV University of Venice), who contributed an essay to the catalogue

Free guided tour

Saturday, 10 June 10 am
With admission charge to the museum

Educational workshop

“Let’s reinvent a corporate brand”
Saturday, 8 July 3 pm–5 pm
with snacks


Bookings required: eventi@maxmuseo.ch
The brand designed by Max Huber for La Rinascente is still recognisable, so we ask ourselves: how can a logo last such a long time, while still interpreting a company, a store, a product? We will look critically at the different logos of corporate brands and try to reinvent the logo of a product to be launched on the market.

At the museum with grandparents

Saturday, 9 September, 4.30 pm
guided tour specially devoted to grandparents and grandchildren
with snacks


A novelty at the m.a.x. museo and … no limits: we look forward to grandchildren of all ages!

Mothers and babies at the museum

Saturday, 16 September  at 10.30 am
guided tour for families with babies
strollers and prams welcome!
with a non-alcoholic aperitif

Educational workshop

“Creative Advertising”
Saturday 16 September 16, 3 pm–5 pm
with snacks


booking required: eventi@maxmuseo.ch


Every business on the market develops advertising that helps the recipients of its messages to recognise it, just as La Rinascente has done over the years with communications of its products and brand. We’ll have fun as graphic artists designing an advert for our company.

Free guided tour

Sunday, 24 September 24, at 4 pm
with admission charge to the museum
during the finissage


Guided tours

Guided tours for associations, groups, schools
on request