Marino Auriti’s ‘Encyclopedic Palace of the World’


Taken as the theme for the Venice Biennale 2013 Exhibition, curated by Massimiliano Gioni, the Encyclopedic Palace in this case aims to put to together works of contemporary art with historical artefacts and found objects, as well as a mix of outsider and insider art. Click here for further information.

On display is Marino Auriti’s incredible model of his Il Encyclopedico Palazzo del Mondo, the Encyclopedic Palace of the World: ‘“This building is an entirely new concept in museums, designed to hold all the works of man in whatever field, discoveries made and those which may follow,” wrote Marino Auriti of his goals for this Babel-like structure. One of two known architectural models made in the mid-twentieth century by this self-taught artist, Auriti’s was an audacious concept: to create a museum to house humankind’s greatest achievements, “everything from the wheel to the satellite.” This object exemplifies the bold singularity of many contemporary self-taught creators. Not hemmed in by the strictures of the art academy, artists like Auriti follow their individual visions.

This model took about three years to build and is on a scale of 1:200, which means that if it were actually built, the palace would stand 136 stories and 2,322 feet, which would have made it the tallest building in the world at the time Auriti imagined it. The artist wanted the Palazzo built on the Mall in Washington, D.C. The sculpture, however, was instead stored in a warehouse for several decades.’ Image and excerpt from The American Folk Art Museum.