Marino Auriti with a 11 foot model of Palazzo Enciclopedico (Encyclopedic Palace).
Encyclopedic Palace (U.S. patent no. 179,277), Kennett Square, Pennsylvania, c. 1950s
wood, plastic, glass, metal, hair combs and model kit parts
11 x 7 x 7 ft. (3.35 x 2.13 x 2.13 m.)
Italian-American, 20th century.
Born 1891, Guardiagrele, Italy; died 1980, Kennett Square, Pennsylvania.
Born in 1891, Marino Auriti was an Italian-American self-taught artist. Before World War I, Auriti briefly studied architecture for which his passion continued throughout his life. His masterpiece, The Encyclopedic Palace of the World, was the centerpiece and namesake for Massimiliano Gioni’s curated exhibition at the 55th Venice Biennale in 2013 and is part of the permanent collection of the American Folk Art Museum in New York.
When his family was denied entry into the United States due to immigration restrictions, they moved to Brazil where Auriti worked on building coffee bean threshers. It is believed he immigrated to United States sometime between 1923 and 1930. His main source of income originated from the family auto-body shop located in southeastern Pennsylvania, where Auriti also promoted his artworks.
Massimiliano Gioni’s emphasis on a piece created by a self-taught artist rather than a professionally trained one garnered attention for Outsider Art in general. According to Auriti “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 follow.
Marino died at the age of 89.
2016, Self-Taught Genius: Treasures from the American Folk Art Museum, Amon Carter Museum, FT. Worth
2013, Venice Biennale
American Folk Art Museum, New York