Established on December 31, 1863, the Workers Society of Cascina had among its aims to contribute to the schooling and vocational training of young people. Therefore, decided to found in 1871 the School of Professional Drawing and Plastic. The school, then became in 1959 the Art Institute, was the necessary element to bring the production and sculpture of wood at those levels of excellence that will characterize Cascina for over a century, making it famous as the City of furniture.

Today the Società Operaia has become a cultural association and has among its aims, in addition to the realization of exhibitions, conferences and cultural events, the preservation and enhancement of a valuable historical and artistic heritage related not only to the production of furniture but the history of Cascina and its community.

The historical archive collects all the documents concerning the Società Operaia di Cascina starting from 1863, date of its foundation, and covering a chronological period of about a century. The rich iconographic archive preserves the historical memory of cabinet making in Cascina starting from the second half of the 19th century. Moreover, here is preserved the first nucleus of Cascina’s historical library, founded during the 19th century in order to promote the education and schooling of the working classes.

In addition to drawings, books and historical documents, is preserved a rich collection of ancient tools used for woodworking, as well as a selection of carvings, inlays, paintings, videos, graphic works, sculptures and plaster casts made by local artists. Of historical interest is the collection of historical posters and miscellaneous material dedicated to the history of Cascina.

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