The Collection

 

The collected works (over two hundred sculptures of large, medium and small dimension in plaster and in bronze; over two hundred paintings; over three hundred graphic works) are noteworthy for being almost all centered around the utopian idea of a great "World City", destined to be the international headquarters of a perennial laboratory of ideas in the fields of the arts, science, philosophy, religione and physical culture. Towards this project and its diffusion Andersen had dedicated with the French architect Ernest Hébrard a large volume (The Creation of a World Centre of Communication; consultation available at the Museum) which, beginning with the urban conceptions of antique civilizations, intended to indicate the approach to the new, modern "City".

Two large studios are on the ground floor: the Gallery, where the artist displayed to visitors his finished works, and the Studio, for the modelling of his forms. After recent restauration both spaces have become once again the suggestive setting for Andersen's monumental sculptures representing themes of love, maternity, physical prowess, all destined to decorate the buildings of the "World City". The Gallery's walls display the large project designs for this same ideal city. The first floor apartment was the artist's residence and was decorated by him with stuccos and paintings. It is now an exhibition space for the Museum collection and for temporary exhibitions dedicated to foreign artists dating from the 19th and 20th century to contemporary works as well.

Andersen always maintained contacts abroad, particularly with the United States. Boston, Newport and New England represented for him constant reference points, principally through the deep relationship he shared with his sister-in-law Olivia Cushing. A writer from a rich, cultivated Boston family, she came to live with him in Rome after the premature death of her husband Andreas Andersen, a talented painter whose works are also preserved in the Museum. Also significant is the close and affectionate relationship shared by Andersen with Henry James, documented by the seventy-seven letters from the older writer to his younger friend dating from 1899 to 1915. (Published by Marsilio in 2000.)