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A century in the history of Carpi

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1910 ca. – Carpi, Palazzo Gandolfi.
The Martini family comes from the town of Ostiglia, in the Province of Mantua. At the top-right is Francesco.
1900 – Carpi, Cantarana (now called viale De Amicis)
The Pedrielli family has lived in Carpi for countless generations. Elda will be born in 1901.
Edda, 1925 ca.
Edda, 1925 ca.
Edda and Elda, 1927 ca.
Edda, 1927 ca.
In the countryside, around 1928, Edda is second from the left
Edda and her little sister Romana, 1934 ca.
1935 ca. – Edda attends the School of Sacro Cuore, where she’ll teach later in life.
Courtyard of the Sacro Cuore Institute, circa 1935
1910 ca. – The Martini furniture store started out as a humble shop located in Corso Fanti, selling brooms and doormats, but will soon grow. Its storefronts will occupy the corner between via Paolo Guaitoli and via Ciro Menotti.
1938 – When she was just fifteen Edda met Antonio Morisi, whom everyone called Toni.
1920 ca. – Fausto Morisi and Iole Zoboli move to Carpit from San Giovanni in Persiceto. Toni is born in 1923.
Edda attends the Venturi Art Institute in Modena, during the years of the war. She graduates in 1943.
1943 – Alma, who lives with her family in the same house as Edda’s, at Via della Catena 32. At night after the curfew, Edda portrays her relatives on paper as black as the blackout outside.
April 24th, 1950 – Edda and Toni get married in the Cathedral.
On the occasion of the wedding, Arcangelo Salvarani gifts her student with a watercolor complete with autographed dedication: “Con stima ad Edda Martini” (“With esteem to Edda Martini”).

On holiday on the Marmolada

1953 – On January 25th Daniela is born.
1969 – Evening dress made of trevira. Textile painting is becoming more and more popular. Cocktail dresses, skirts, blouses, scarves and shawls, all brightly colored and covered with shining paillettes, as the years start running… The ’60s go by… followed by the ’70s…

1977 was an important year both for Edda’s private life (her granddaughter was born) and for her artistic career (the first personal exhibition was set up).
In truth, during the next seven years, she will mostly be her grandmother.

1978 – Edda and her granddaughter Irene, born on October 28th, 1977.

It is from 1984 that the golden years begin: 20 personal exhibitions, 39 group exhibitions and 76 between various projects and donations.


She was a versatile and very prolific painter.
On her easel, immaculate canvases and canvases that only needed the last touch alternated continuously and very quickly. When one ended, another began.
She liked to mix her techniques. Watercolors and tubes of oil paints on her palette, brushes of all shapes and sizes, spatulas and sponges, pencils and crayons, chalks and markers.
She never stopped.


It was rare to see her sitting without a pen in her hand, while the paper in front of her filled as if by magic with firm and precise strokes.


She knew how to look, see, observe.
She knew how to treasure images: old photographs, pages of magazines and newspapers, glimpses and landscapes, objects and flowers.
In everything she found inspiration.


She created images in her mind, which she then mixed with memories and fantasies and crowded her rich and multifaceted inner world with.
She loved her house and especially the bright corner of what was called the “veranda”, a large blue-green room full of light.
There were (still are) her easel, palette, brushes


She loved Carpi, which was also her home: she knew every corner of it, she always kept vivid memories of it, the essential frame of her entire life.

October 12th, 2002
December 8th, 1991

Edda and Toni, a formidable couple. Together since the age of 15.

2000, 50 years of marriage

Together they faced a difficult path, but full of satisfactions.


She was truly a volcano of ideas.
Just like her paintings, the exhibitions followed one another, as did the projects. And together, over the years, Edda and Toni collected and arranged an enormous amount of materials in many volumes.


Photographs, newspaper articles and other documents bear witness to Edda’s rich activity and her increasingly close relationships with local authorities, associations and figures in public life.

2002, Edda with Ernest Borgnine
2002, Edda with Rosella Tagliavini
1998, Edda and Toni with Romano Pelloni

In the house where they lived their long life together there are paintings hanging on all available surfaces, paintings and drawings collected in folders or organized in large albums.


And yet, considering the many paintings sold (a part of which is visible in the photographic images relating to the exhibitions) it is clear that this is only the tip of the iceberg.
Each exhibition, each project involved both of them. They took care of every single aspect: the choice of the title, the layout, the so-called “homages”: small paintings, each one different, for all the visitors.
Edda could count on valid and passionate collaborators, but Toni was certainly the truly irreplaceable support.

30 novembre 2007

The last few years are sickness and silence, Edda dies on November 19, 2015.