1994


«With this exhibition we would like to present, in the year that Lisbon is the European Culture Capital, an artist who has, for over thirty years, dedicated his life to art and, in particular, to show business: Umberto Tirelli.
A passionate collector of lace and old fabrics, Tirelli has always had, since childhood, a great curiosity and an intense passion for the theatrical arts.»
Luduvico Ortona 

                      

«It is interesting to register how Tirelli almost always dresses moments of passion or misfortune. The Classical Pasolinean Medea that Maria Callas embodied, paradigm of rejection and jealousy, was covered by Tirelli in archaic robes, recovering the ancestral techniques and craft secrets used by weavers.
With the attention to detail worthy of a historian, the emotion of a dramaturgist and the sensitivy of a painter or a poet, Tirelli knows how to dress and serve the great historical friezes and emotional subtleties. If the cinema is the art of arts, because it encompasses all genres, costume designs and accessories play a primordial part in it. His work in the theatre, ballet, opera and cinema, allied to his facet as a collector allowed him to create costume designs that have, without a doubt, become part of our collective memory and universal patrimony.»
Simoneta Luz Afonso

                               

«This is, therefore, the exhibition that has toured the world and comes to us from Italy. This unequalled set of historical costumes that Umberto Tirelli either executed, saved or recovered. Tirelli, and later his heirs, for he died in 1990, his Sartorial and the body of his work go on, just as he would have wished.
It is with great emotion and also with great pride that the National Theatre Museum opens its doors to the dream, to the splendour, to the didactic quality of the Tirelli Collection. With its silk wonders, the magnificence of its velvets, lace, feathers, embroideries, painted papers, this collection is, as William Shakespeare or Humphrey Bogart said on his behalf: "the stuff dreams are made of"»
Vitor Pavão dos Santos