MILAN — After more than 43 stops across the world, Hermès has taken its traveling exhibition of craftsmanship to the Museum of the Ara Pacis in Rome.
Running through March 16, the “Hermès at Work” showcase, dubbed “Hermès Dietro Le Quinte [Behind the Scenes]” in Italy, continues to support the luxury house’s ongoing effort to introduce its artisans to the public. Hermès counts more than 4,500 craftspeople out of a total of 13,700 employees worldwide.
Spread over 10,764 square feet, the presentation in Rome will allow visitors to meet and interact with artisans from 10 different disciplines while they work, delving into how the luxury company produces its signature leather handbags, gloves and saddles, among others.
Master craftsmen will also do live demonstrations of the silk engraving and silk rolling that distinguishes the famed Hermès silk scarf, as well as of gem setting, watchmaking and hand-painting of the brand’s porcelain.
In addition, thanks to virtual reality, visitors will be able to take in a 360-degree film about the master glassmakers and cutters of the Saint-Louis crystal works, founded in 1586 and acquired by Hermès in 1989.
Roundtable discussions and conferences about craftsmanship, innovation and the transmission of know-how will be additionally hosted throughout the weeklong event, which is open and free to the public.
The Hermès craftsmanship initiative debuted in 2011 under the moniker “Festival des Métiers.” After visiting 34 cities around the world between 2011 and 2015, it was renamed “Hermès hors les murs,” or “Hermès at Work” in English. In 2017, the event also touched base in Milan.
The Museum of the Ara Pacis houses the namesake ancient altar dedicated to Augustus. Designed by architect Richard Meier, the overall building represented the first great architectural and urban intervention in Rome’s historic center since the Fascist era and was opened to the public in 2006, after seven years of works. The venue hosts exhibits spanning from contemporary and ancient art to photography and cinema.