Milan, Italy — A rare and exceptional exhibition opened in Milan last May 1st at the Milan Museum of Culture. Entitled Robot. The Human Project, the show chronicles mankind’s fascination with bringing androids to life and showcases together automatons that are centuries-old as well as recent robots. An exceptional assembly of 18th century masterpiece automatons on loan from the Swiss watchmaking house of Jaquet Droz is one of the highlights of the exhibition.
Pierre Jaquet-Droz, too, brought to life his « robots ». a vision he had 250 years ago when he crafted his first automatons. Shown in La Chaux-de-Fonds in 1774, his piece “The Writer, The Draughtsman and The Musician” marked the historic turning point when automatons became androids. They also turned Jaquet-Droz into a legend among the royal courts throughout Europe.
Jaquet Droz has loaned some of these treasures to the Milan Museum of Culture (MUDEC) for the exhibition which lasts until August 1st. Visitors can enjoy the site and sounds of a singing bird (1790), an animated birdcage (1780), a singing bird pocket watch (1785) and The Poet (2018).
Pierre Jaquet-Droz was born 300 years ago on a small farm — like many Swiss watchmakers — called Sur le Pont in La Chau-de-Fonds and it would be his automatons that would render the watchmaker celebrated throughout the world, initially in the European courts of France, Holland, Spain and then beyond to India and the Far East.
©Trish Valicenti for The Gourmet Gazette