The Pilone Collection, donated to the Museo delle Culture in 2007, is the result of a passionate and far-sighted collection made by the journalist Rosanna Pilone (1931-2006) at the turn of the 1980s and 1990s.
Rosanna Pilone, Venetian by birth, has always lived and worked in Milan. From a very young age, she developed an interest in China, its culture and its theatre, which soon turned into a passion. Over time she has become a profound and esteemed connoisseur of the subject and has translated several works by Confucius and Laozi for Rizzoli.
Rosanna Pilone has written and edited a series of important studies, the most recent of which can be consulted in the Museo delle Culture library: Oltre la maschera: Storia di ragazzi d'opera cinese, International Cultural Exchange, Milan 1995; and Tradizione e realtà del teatro cinese: Dalle origini ai giorni nostri, International Cultural Exchange, Milan 1995.
The Collection comprises 465 objects or groups of objects, whose summary inventory has been carefully verified, integrated and commented on by the MUSEC team. Among the works are painted masks and faces, headdresses, make-up accessories and costumes, fans, musical instruments and, entire sets.
Over the years the collection has been the subject of scientific studies and the catalogue Teatro Cinese. Architetture Costumi, Scenografie edited by Rosanna Pilone, Sabina Ragaini and Yu Weijie for Edizioni Electa of Milan in 1995. In 2014 the MUSEC published the results of its research on the Collection in a volume published by Silvana, and dedicated a scenographic exhibition to it in the rooms of the Heleneum.