This name does not merely represent the success story of an Italian design company. With their unparalleled openness and freedom of thought, its two founders, Jacqueline Vodoz (1921–2005) and Bruno Danese (1930–2016), provided an opportunity for artists and designers such as Bruno Munari, Enzo Mari, and others to realize utopian art and design projects whose commercial success at the time did not at all seem given. From the beginning on, one of the essential maxims of the Danese philosophy, apart from its idealistic didactic and social endeavors, was the child-like joy found within playfulness and the amusement which arose from ambiguity. This manifests in the following pages which display many everyday objects such as the fruit bowl ‘Atollo’ or the ashtray ‘Cubo’ – they succeed in their functionality but could just as well be considered as objects of art.
“The love and care you put into choosing the things you surround yourself with are expressions of culture”
Together with the ceramist Franco Meneguzzo, Bruno Danese founded the company DEM for ceramic objects in 1955. Two years later, in 1957, he then founded Danese together with his wife, the photographer Jacqueline Vodoz. The encounter with the two artists Bruno Munari and Enzo Mari fundamentally shaped the company’s history. Danese and Vodoz were linked to the two artists through a deep intellectual friendship that formed the basis for an over thirty-year period of successful collaboration. Mari and Munari issued some influential art editions through Danese. They both regarded product design as an artistic challenge and not just as a lucrative business. In all their designs, the goal was to make visible a certain artistic quality in everyday commodities and to identify the simplest and most cost-effective ways of producing them in order to make their designs widely available.
Bruno Danese and Jacqueline Vodoz communicated with artists and designers, they supervised the production, financed and took care of the marketing, and they organized well-attended exhibitions in their Milan gallery space. This resulted in art editions, children’s games, as well as a wide range of products – from ashtrays to salt shakers – which, due to their well thought-out and precise shapes, their functionality, and their partially innovative production methods, can be counted among significant examples of 20th-century art and design.
Aalto, Alvar (1898 - 1976)
The Marie and David Cooper Collection of Fine Art Deco Sculpture
Bugatti, Carlo (1856-1940)
Erich Dieckmann - Fuctionality and Elegance
Gallé, Emile (1846 – 1904)
Gambone, Bruno (born 1936)
‚Intercalaire’ - Painting between layers
Hans-Agne Jakobsson (1919 - 2009)
Mucha, Alphonse (1860-1939)
Müller, Renate (born 1945)
Pâte de verre
Riemerschmid, Richard (1868 - 1950) and his chairs for the household of the painter Wilhelm Otto in Bremen
The Rozenburg Eggshell Porcelain
Sarfatti, Gino (1912-1985)
Sottsass, Ettore (1917-2007)
Tiffany Studios, 'Apple Blossom' table lamp
Tiffany, Louis Comfort (1848 – 1933)
Van de Velde, Henry (1863-1957)
Vuitton, Louis (1821-1892)