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Exhibitions

The Terracotta Museum explores the ceramic side of the photographer Emili Casas

The exhibition will open to the public on March 17 at 12.30 pm with a guided tour by Xavier Rocas, curator of the exhibition

The Terracotta Museum explores the ceramic side of the photographer Emili Casas
bonart la bisbal d'empordà - 14/03/24

The Terracotta Museum collaborates with the celebration of the 40 years of the Baix Empordà County Archive with a small exhibition dedicated to the ceramicist facet of the local photographer Emili Casas Masbernat (1879-1951). The exhibition, entitled Emili Casas. The photographer's ceramics can be visited until the beginning of 2025 in the El Forn space of the equipment as part of the events commemorating the 40th anniversary of the Regional Archive of the Baix Empordà (ACBE).

In February 1983, a year before the inauguration of the ACBE, at that time Regional Historical Archive of the Bisbal d'Empordà, Enric Casas i Coll donated an outstanding artistic and documentary collection of his father, Emili Casas Masbernat, to the Department of Culture of the Generalitat. This donation, with almost 17,000 negatives (one of the most important private funds that has entered the archive), then became one of the foundational pillars of the new equipment. The bulk of the donation is the photographic collection taken during his professional activity between 1906 and 1951, and which was subsequently continued by his son until 1970. However, the result of the concerns and aptitudes for the fine arts of Emili Casas (he also cultivated other artistic disciplines, such as painting, drawing, sculpture or poster design), the donation included more than 150 works, including drawings, watercolors and paintings, fourteen sculptures ceramics, and 51 nativity figures.

The exhibition, precisely, shows a selection of these ceramic sculptures, which are in storage at the Terracotta Museum (a part is permanently displayed in the field of artistic and decorative ceramics). His favorite subjects were the portrait, usually busts inspired by popular characters or animals, as well as the subjects of a social nature, work or everyday life.

Photographer and potter

Although Emili Casas Masbernat was born in 1879 in Girona, in 1892 he already settled in Bisbal, where his father set up a small business for the production and marketing of distillates. The business did not have much success, in 1898 it went bankrupt and although the rest of the family moved to Barcelona, he remained at Bisbal d'Empordà. From a young age he demonstrated his artistic abilities, first in drawing and painting, and later in the world of ceramics, working in decorative modeling at one of the potteries in the Aigüeta de la Bisbal area.
At the age of 27, he opened a photographic studio, becoming the only photography professional in Bisbal, initially combining it with the work of the pottery. He became the local 'chronicler' of the first third of the 20th century, documenting with images the life and atmosphere of the time: work, the market, fairs, trade; events, parties, leisure; institutions, associations, groups; urban planning, architecture, art. Although his professional career focused on photography, Emili Casas never stopped occupying his time with other artistic activities such as drawing, painting, advertising posters and ceramic sculpture. Some pieces that used to be displayed in the window of his studio, a space that he continuously renovated, and that he eventually also sold.

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