MAM - Maestro d'Arte e Mestiere, promoted by the Cologni Foundation for the Métiers d’Art in partnership with ALMA, the International School of Italian Cuisine, awards outstanding skills in the fields of artistic craftsmanship: from pottery to jewellery, from wood to furniture, from metalworking to mechanics and mosaics, from leather goods to restoration and fashion… up to food and beverage.
The list of the Masters will be implemented every two years (the second edition is to be held in 2018) and aims to celebrate the extraordinary work of some of the leading figures in Italian high quality craftsmanship, bringing them to the attention of the general public and the media. The first edition in 2016 marked the launch of a symbolic Golden Book of Italian Artisanal Excellence, heralding the first 75 MAM - Masters of Arts and Crafts, who have distinguished themselves by their particular professional achievements and work to disseminate their skills and knowledge.During the awards ceremony held at the Triennale Museum in Milan on 6 June 2016, the 75 MAM award winners (62 representatives of Italian craftsmanship and 13 representatives from the fine food and wine sectors) were applauded by guests coming from all over the country, who paid tribute to the inimitable talent and savoir faire of these great artisans. The MAM award winners received an exquisite bronze cast specially made to an original design by the Scuola dell'Arte della Medaglia dell'Istituto Poligrafico e Zecca dello Stato. Based on a sketch by artist Francesca Muscianesi from the Scuola dell’Arte della Medaglia, the cast is a symbolic representation of Italian creativity and talent, evoked by the female form (a symbol of Italy and creative pathos) adorned by a necklace of strawberry tree flowers bearing a seven-pointed star (a symbol of harmony and study), in a gesture to highlight humanity's ability to transform matter into art. The medals were crafted in bas-relief by Fonderia Artistica della Zecca using the complex artistic process of sand-casting, a technique requiring various stages of manual production.
At the end of the ceremony, ALMA offered a cocktail to the over three hundred guests to celebrate the most authentic Italian products. A special monographic edition of the magazine “Mestieri d’Arte & Design – Arts & Crafts & Design”, developed by the Cologni Foundation with Swan publishing house, pays tribute to the 75 MAM with their biographies and works.
The President of the Italian Republic, Sergio Mattarella, presented MAM - Maestro d’Arte e Mestiere with a special commemorative plaque, an honour that gives extraordinary recognition to the talent of Italy’s great artistic craftspeople.
The project is under the aegis of numerous important and prestigious institutions:
The Italian Minister of Cultural Heritage and Tourism (MiBACT)
The City of Milan
Triennale di Milano
Symbola-Fondazione per le Qualità Italiane
Fondazione Italia Patria della Bellezza