The Estorick Collection of Italian Modern Art is a small and interesting gem hidden in Islington, London. It is the only museum in the United Kingdom entirely dedicated to Italian Modern Art, and its permanent collection includes some of the most interesting and well-known works of art created by Italian artists during the first half of the 20th century. With the exhibition entitled ‘The Art of Campari‘, on show until September 16, 2018, the museum celebrates the ruby-red aperitif’s rich heritage in creativity, design showcasing the ground-breaking advertising and packaging designs responsible for establishing and maintaining unrivaled global recognition for the brand.

Founded by Gaspare Campari in 1860, Campari is today a global company marketing and distributing its products in over 190 countries. Much of this is due to the dedication of Gaspare’s son, David, to make the brand known across the world. Under his lead the company pursued a more dynamic approach to marketing its drinks, fully exploiting the power of the advertising poster with some of the most distinctive and innovative imagery created in Italy. Indeed, in order to create a sophisticated brand profile, Campari commissioned the work of some of the most celebrated poster designers of the day: Leonetto Cappiello, Marcello Dudovich, Adolf Hohenstein, and Marcello Nizzoli. In the mid-1920s, futurist artist Fortunato Depero’s pioneering campaigns with his trademark puppet-like characters, bold, witty and geometric designs gave life to Campari’s unmistakable visual identity, which, in 1932, was used as the basis of the famous conical Campari Soda bottle.

The Art of Campari‘ traces the history of Campari’s innovative approach to advertising from the original Belle Époque posters, through the revolutionary 1920s campaigns, to culminate in the 1960s elegant designs. The exhibition presents a collection of posters and designs by some of the most influential artists working for the company, and some of Depero’s original sketches, as well as many branded objects including crates, glasses, bottles, and plaques from the company’s extensive archives in Milan.

Ilona Catani Scarlett

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