The White Museum
The White Museum is an idea, a Capri Palace a brand which collects all the best that nature and man can express. The White Museum is an art, hospitality, design, craftsmanship, excellent cuisine and food: traced in style that represents the union of beauty and life.
The White Museum is the brainchild of Tonino Cacace to live the Capri Palace space according to his belief of charm and harmony, by his need to convey a way of concept of a hotel, which he built up day by day and in which he dedicated years of research and experimentation. His inner research regards everything that is "best" just as artists do, and be able to appreciate and choose the materials, the locations as well as the most suitable arrangement for their artwork.
Nowadays, more than ever, the Capri Palace grows and evolves according to the rhythm of its creator. A dimension in which can be found from the entrance of the hotel to rooms, it becomes closer to art in the concept of the union between life and total artistic experience, like the Futurists, who had stayed in Anacapri.
"When I began to imagine how to implement my concept of space to a stay that resembled an external beauty rather than a traditional holiday in Capri, the rest of the world still thinks that buildings are structures and hotel rooms are not a way of life. That is how the private swimming pools, two of which were decorated by Giorgio Tonelli, an artist, but more importantly a friend who shared the madness of an unusual adventure like Capri Palace. At first he didn’t even know how to set the colours on the bottom of the pool to avoid that they would come off with water. He merely accepted the challenge with enthusiasm and painted the "Man with the Bowler Hat" by Magritte in the suite dedicated to the Master of Surrealism.
However, during this adventure I felt that something was missing. If philosophy was the first of my allies which helped me to reflect that in order to represent the reality of the world I wanted to portray, I needed to do it through art, my second partner. So it was then that I started in a very natural way and in total freedom to attend exhibitions in galleries in Milan, Paris, London or New York. My curiosity prompted me to see as much as I could learning and educating my eyes to contemporary art. So I could choose which of them with their artwork would become my new companions.
I started going to the galleries and discovered the artists whom solicited my thoughts and gratified my aesthetic sense. Art became a passion for me that I wanted to share: when I purchased artwork it wasn’t used for my private rooms, but for those of the hotel. Inside of me was already forming the concept of The White Museum. In reality, I had always thought of sharing with others the artwork that I chose and I liked the idea of extending the use of it not only to friends but also to the hotel guests. Besides, I always thought that showing one’s expression to a large number of people is the aspiration of every artist. How? Exhibiting in a museum. So, here we have the idea of a museum that reappears forcefully, I imagined artwork surrounding the rooms and other areas that would host on their walls; paintings, drawings, photographs. I was fascinated by the thought of creating a true art hotel where the main character was the expression of the artists. I not only wanted to put works of art everywhere, in the common shared areas and in the rooms, I also wanted to create a bright and spacious art studio to be offered to the artists so that they could work and invent. The idea had become reality and had developed once again to other forms of creativity and research of expressive quality, from design to food, and crafts. At this stage, not only did the artwork arrive, at Capri Palace the artists themselves, lived for the period of creation. Some of them were in the studio carrying out artwork for the hotel, others experienced ceramics, inventing artistic plates on which food is served on in the L'Olivo Restaurant at Capri Palace.
The concept of art that involves all aspects of life had taken a firm and positive form. That’s how The White Museum was born. Velasco designed the mosaic of the pool entrance, Tonelli designed the pools which were dedicated to Magritte and Warhol, Plessi installed monitors in an old wooden boat that a sailor used to take tourists to the Blue Cave, Costantini autographed the paintings dedicating them to Calder, Kandinsky, Miro and Donghi. Gradually, the rooms became the artist’s subjects of the paintings, masterpieces of the twentieth century. Miro’s abstract signs, Mondrian’s straight lines and Kandinsky’s colours became the essence of the walls and the details of the fabrics for the furniture. Antonio Donghi’s room, the main character of the Magic Italian Realism, is the perfect example of the union between art and life that I wanted to portray in Capri Palace’s rooms. Every detail can be traced back to the colour and shapes of its artwork and it feels just like entering the poetic and physical dimension of its paintings, the furniture in the functionalist style, the geometric decorations, the stick figures. It is an aesthetic experience in total style that is further found in some elements of the L'Olivo restaurant’s decoration of furniture and furnishings.
As I was conducting the artwork input at Capri Palace I met Arnaldo Pomodoro. I invited him for a visit and I suggested a collaboration. The setting of the majestic “Sea Shores” was born, a wall long forty meters, towering and three-dimensional that the maestro created for the entrance wall. A creation that was destined to last a long time due to its location, as Pomodoro himself said, "it belongs more to the outdoor territory than to the hotel." It seems to me that The Sea Shores represents a kind of openness to the territory of the "Castle Gates." It is also an opportunity to offer an emotional impact proving that art and beauty cannot have barriers, but can become part of everyday life for everyone.
Following my quest to find the "Best" and beauty did not stop, but it is also aimed at enhancing food and crafts. I felt the increase of the need to recover the best of our traditions, that Capri and the Italian territory could offer, so rich and various. I turned the big store near the hotel into a real laboratory to view where the artists create unique, hand made and personalized items with the brand Capritouch. Linen garments, cashmere stoles, accessories, the famous sandals with coloured strips that Jacqueline Kennedy wore during her stay on the island. There are designer items, artistic ceramics and photographs. It's a bit like being at Liberty in London, but with more highly qualified artists at work, accommodating everyone's needs.
The art, hospitality, architecture, design, food, music and crafts are part of every culture and experiences that belong to me and that gave me life. These different expressions of man are like the branches of a tree sitting in the Grand foliage of the White Museum. In a world that changes and evolves quickly and offers media communication and new digital reality becomes important to maintain a strong tie with tradition in order to be as innovative as Capri Palace has always been.