CRESPI BONSAI, history 50 years long
In September 2011 Luigi and Luisa Crespi celebrated the 20th anniversary from the foundation of the Crespi Bonsai Museum and the Crespi Bonsai University, after 50 years of activity devoted to spread the art, the culture and the techniques associated with bonsai among amateurs and professionals, through the Crespi Bonsai Museum, permanent exhibition of centuries old masterpieces, through the Crespi Bonsai University and through the number of national and international events, that periodically gather in Parabiago the most important representatives of the bonsai world.
Crespi Bonsai Museum
It is a unique corner of the Eastern world perfectly included in the West, which gathers a precious collection of centuries old trees, pots and antique books. Opened in 1991 on May 26th, the Crespi Bonsai Museum is the first permanent museum of bonsai trees all over the world.
In northern Italy, not far from Milan, people can appreciate a small corner of the Japanese world of bonsai. It is the Crespi Bonsai Museum, opened in 1991 in Parabiago near Milan, as a result of Luigi Crespi's enthusiasm and thirty-year work in the world of bonsai and Japanese garden.
This permanent museum, unique in the world, originated from the willingness to offer to bonsai enthusiasts the opportunity to admire a precious collection that includes centuries-old plants, antique pots and books and manuscripts from the Far East.
Masterpiece of the collection is the millenary Ficus retusa Linn, placed at the centre of a glass pagoda, which is dedicated to Chinese penjing and contains also many old trees of tropical and sub-tropical species, like a beautiful Murraya paniculata (300 years old).
In the outdoor gallery, on tables of solid black slate, many other authentic works of art are displayed; some of them are well over hundred years of age, trained by famous Japanese masters as Kato, Kawamoto, Kawahara and Ogasawara. Among them a rare Acer palmatum kashima and a very old Juniperus chinensis, characterized by amazing natural shari on the trunk.
Two years ago the precious collection of the Crespi Bonsai Museum was enriched by some special masterpieces, coming from the famous collection of the WBFF honorary chairman, Mr. Daizo Iwasaki, who passed away in May 2011. Among them there is a semi cascading white Pine placed in a beautiful reproduction of a very famous antique pot from the classic China. The collection of bonsai pots includes antique Chinese containers from the Ming and Ching dynasties.
A special realization is the toko-no-ma, the displaying corner of the traditional Japanese house, devoted to the display of works of art or objects of spiritual value. Here, the best bonsai tree of the seasonal moment finds its place, for a better appreciation of its beauty.
The museum collection is tastefully complemented with authentic Japanese furnishings and antique stone lanterns, while out of the gallery eyes can move through the stones of the kare-sansui garden created by Luigi Crespi with natural stones imported from Japan. Inside the Crespi Bonsai Centre you can also appreciate the quiet atmosphere of a traditional Japanese garden with pond, walking towards the green houses.
The master Nobuyuki Kajiwara has been taking care of the development of the Crespi Bonsai Museum masterpieces since the museum establishment in 1991. He is also teacher of bonsai art at the Crespi Bonsai University, established in 1991. Students follow his lectures and workshops sitting in the great hall, equipped with audio-visual device, facing the stone garden and the museum gallery.
The masterpieces of Crespi Bonsai Museum are the millenary Ficus retusa Linn, Pinus pentaphylla var. Miyajima and Taxus cuspidata by Mount Ishizuchi.