THE MUSEUM BUILDING



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The Càntir Museum Building in Argentona

THE MUSEUM BUILDING

The "Cantir" Museum is located in a building of 800 sq. meters constructed in the year 1991.

In the year 1998 the decision was made to move the museum from its original quarters in the gothic house to this present day location. The "Produccions Calidoscopi" Company was entrusted with the new architectural and museografic design project.

The interior remodeling and the museografic installations were begun in June, 1999. One year later, on June 20, 2000 the museum was inaugurated, in its present-day location comprised of four floors, each designed with a clearly and uniquely defined intention.

FIRST FLOOR

Reception and entrance hall
Area dedicated to welcoming and informing visitors about the museum and its services.
The hall is dominated by a gigantic illuminated panel depiction one of the water vessels.

Temporary Exhibition Gallery
There is a gallery just off the entrance hall dedicated to renewable exhibitions which are changed frequently. The works exhibited here may vary in theme: ceramics and earthenware, local historic exhibitions, collections by local artists, etc.

Museum Shop
This is the last section to be visited in the tour of the museum. One may find an ample variety of products related to the theme of the museum: all of the water jugs pertaining to the yearly Càntir Festival collection, traditional ceramics and earthenware pieces, publications dealing with pottery and ceramics, books on Argentona, and souvenirs.


Ground floor, lobby


Temporary Exhibition Gallery


Museum Shop 


Tour of the first exhibit: Water and Mankin


Detail of one of the showcases in the first exhibit hall

Exhibit2I: Water Vessels: forms and functions

SUBTERRANEAN LEVEL

Permanent Exhibition - display I:

Mankind and water: a cultural relationship
This is the first of the permanent exhibitions in which the artifacts demonstrate the relationship between man and water to be essentially cultural in nature. Here we can see how different cultures from all over the world relate to water employing vessels that serve the same purpose as the "cantir".

Permanent Exhibition – display II:

Forms and functions of water vessels: morphologies. In the second exhibit we can observe how different cultures pertaining to the Iberian Peninsula have developed different styles (morphologies) of vessels designed to facilitate the use of water in their homes.

The most important morphologies are: "cànters", "cànters" with drinking spouts, "poals" (pitcher with handles), jars and hand-washing pitchers and, of course, "cantirs".

 

SECOND FLOOR

Permanent Exhibition – display III:
History of the "Càntir"

The "càntir" or earthenware, jet-spouted drinking jug, can be first found in the ancient Mesopotamian cultures and has survived up to our times. In this first display we can see the most outstanding periods of its use: The Bronze Age, The Hellenistic Greek period, its revival at the end of the Middle Ages, its suddenly newfound popularity in the 17th and 18th centuries, the grand production during the first third of the 20th century and its decline and decadence during the second half of this same century.

Permanent exhibition - display IV:
A different water vessel for every distinct utility: typologies The extensive variety of "càntir" forms (typologies) is clearly reflected in this section of the museum. This is both the most spacious area, and the one that displays the largest number of specimens.

Here we can view some thirty different water vessel types, gigantic "càntirs", common "càntirs", necked vessels, winter jugs, o-shaped, boat-shaped, country-style, "antropomorfes" and "zoomorfes", as well as a number of purely decorative and artistic models among which there is 4 pieces created by Pablo Picasso. Also to be found here are water vessels hewn from wood, blown from glass as well as specimens made of metal and cork. There are valuable pieces dating from the 18th century.

The geographic origin of the pieces displayed is wide and varied. The exhibit includes samples from the most important earthenware and ceramic producing centers in Catalonia and Spain as well as other "càntir"-producing countries.


Display 3: The history of "cantir" (water vessel)


Display 4: water jug typologies


Display 4: Detail of the glass-"càntir" showcase

 


View of the Monographic Exhibition Gallery

 

 


  Detail of the Monographic Exhibition: The "Càntir" Festivals

GROUND FLOOR

Monographic Exhibition Gallery
The ground floor of the museum is dedicated entirely to monographic exhibitions. This gallery will be dedicated to an in-depth study of different aspects of the earthenware water vessels that have been given less consideration in the museum’s permanent collection. It is also intended to facilitate the rotation of pieces found within the museum with pieces in the reserve room, from other museums, and from private collections so that each year repeating visitors will be able to encounter new aspects.

 

Inaugural Exhibition:
The village festival: 50 editions of Argentona’s Water Jug Festival (1951 – 2000)
The first monographic exhibition was dedicated to celebrating the 50th anniversary of the "càntir" festival in Argentona. The exhibit presented a review of the past 50 celebrations of a tradition dating from the middle of the XVII century and recovered in the year 1951, thanks to the interest and dedication of Jaume Clavell and the association "Amics d’Argentona". One of the most outstanding moments of the festival was the inauguration of the Càntir Museum in the year l975.