UGO ZACCAGNINI

Firenze - ITALY, 1905

After working many years at Ginori’s, Ugo Zaccagnini (1868-1937) started his own company at the beginning of the 20th century. For almost twenty years the production did not offer any remarkable motifs, dwelling on repetitive imitation of the historical repertoire. Towards the latter part of the 1920s Libero Andreotti joined the Manufactory and from this moment a gradual formal renewal may be observed. At Ugo’s death, his sons Urbano, Pietro and Prisco transformed the Zaccagnini Manufactory into Ceramiche Zaccagnini S.p.A., with a considerable external financial contribution, thus strengthening the company which achieved significant levels in terms of quantity and quality. Urbano designed, on the wave of the renewed interest for popular and rustic models, simple models, enriched by “rope” patterns or “rafia” or “scored plaster” decorations. The “African style” also proved successful, based on the repetition of stylistic elements of primitive African art. The Manufactory exhibited at the Triennale in Milan and was given prominence in the DOMUS pages. The Manufactory was a reference point for artists and cultural personalities, among whom, Giorgio de Chirico for whom the prototypes of three sculptures were realized. The significant cooperation with Walt Disney granted the factory the rights for the reproduction of the famous cartoon characters on ceramics. The factory collaborators include, among others, Fosco Martini, Mario Bandini and Ottorino Polloni. After the Triennale in 1951 Zaccagnini also was swayed by Scandinavian design and proposed simple, slick pieces decorated in a vertical bichrome. Urbano left the company in 1958, depriving it of its key leader. The 1980s renewal orientated the production towards ever more commercial solutions.