Roberto Sambonet

Fundamental to the cultural and artistic education of Roberto Sambonet (Vercelli 1924-Milan 1995) was the period, between 1948 and 1953, spent living in Brazil, where he worked with Pietro Maria Bardi, director of the Museu de Arte de Sao Paulo. In this period he befriended the psychiatrist Edu Machado Gomes, and gained access to the asylum Juqueri, where he spent 6 months developing a portrait gallery of hospitalized patients, later published in two volumes. The systematic and experimental working method of Sambonet, which was developed during his Brazilian years and is recognizable both in his artistic production and in the creation of his famous designs, was reinforced in his encounter with Alvar Aalto and his work. Following his return to Italy in the 1950s, he began to collaborate with La Rinascente and later with various manufacturing companies, such as the French Baccarat; Bing & Grondahl, Copenhagen; the Cantoni cotton company in Milan; Richard Ginori; Seguso, Muran; Kleis, as well as with the family business. For all these companies he designed objects that would become part of the history of design, often earning him awards and recognition (the Compasso d'Oro in 1956, 1970, 1979, 1995 and Grand Prix at the Milan Triennale of 1960). Roberto Sambonet’s works are on display in major museums around the world, including at the MOMA in New York, where his fish poacher is exhibited.