IL ENCICLOPEDICO PALAZZO DEL MONDO (The Encyclopedic Palace of the World)
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- IL ENCICLOPEDICO PALAZZO DEL MONDO (The Encyclopedic Palace of the World)
- Marino Auriti (1891–1980)
- Kennett Square, Pennsylvania
- c. 1950s
- Wood, plastic, glass, metal, hair combs, and model kit parts
- 11 x 7 x 7 ft.
- American Folk Art Museum, gift of Colette Auriti Firmani in memory of Marino Auriti, 2002.35.1
- This is one of two magnificent architectural models designed and handmade by Italian immigrant Marino Auriti (pictured above). As described in his mission statement, Il Enciclopedico Palazzo del Mondo (The Encyclopedic Palace of the World) was “an entirely new concept in museums, designed to hold all the works of man in whatever field, discoveries made and those which may follow.” This grandiose ambition to house humankind’s greatest achievements “from the wheel to the satellite” was intended for the Mall in Washington, DC, and would have stood at 136 stories and 2,322 feet, based on the model’s scale of 1:200.
Auriti came to the United States sometime between 1923 and the 1930s. He worked as an auto-body mechanic, but architecture was his passion and the plan for the Palazzo is based upon classical precepts. The seven-tiered, lathe-turned skyscraper is made of mixed woods, metal, plastic (including hair combs), and celluloid, and topped by a television antenna. Auriti’s own code of ethics is articulated in transfer letters along the lintels of the building, including “Forgive the First time” and “Do Not Abuse Generosity.” The model was exhibited twice, encased in a special pyramid-shaped vitrine that Auriti built.