The museum is housed in the heart of Milis, in Palazzo Boyl, a noteworthy example of Piedmontese Neoclassical architecture with a fine red ochre facade. The palace is named after the noble family that commissioned it in the early 19th century. During the 19th and 20th centuries it was a meeting point for patricians and writers such as d'Annunzio, Deledda and Balzac. The permanent exhibition of Sardinian folk costumes and traditional jewellery from the Campidano di Oristano was created to trace the history of traditional clothing and personal ornaments in the villages of the Province.
Images, fabrics, dresses and ornaments trace the developments in designs and techniques over 200 years. The greatest focus is on the costumes from Milis itself, as depicted on canvas by a number of painters who visited the village from the early 19th century to the beginning of the 20th, and were so impressed by the elegance of these traditional garments that they chose to depict them in scenes of daily life. Thus, the various costumes, which in the past also signalled differences in social status, are followed in their developments to the present day. The exhibition has several sections: the general section, the costume section, the jewellery section, the blow-up section, the brocade section and the poster section. The displays are accompanied by a series of 2.00 x 1.30 m blown-up images, on matte-finish rigid material.
They are magnified reproductions of paintings by the authors who painted in the greatest detail the traditional costumes of villagers, such as Balsani, who painted a wealthy landowner from Milis in his feast-day costume. Luzzetti, who painted an orange seller wearing his daily costume. Frenchman Nicola Tiole, a watercolourist who painted what is thought to have been the oldest costume of Milis (very similar to that of Oristano). Simone Manca, a watercolourist hailing from Mores, who painted delicate scenes from the orange harvest with women and men wearing the traditional costumes and Colucci, with his portrait of a woman wearing an unusual costume. The exhibition also displays women's dresses from Oristano, Samugheo, Busachi and Cabras, adorned with buttons and jewels in filigree, silver and coral.
One area of the museum focuses on the fabrics employed for the various items of clothing, such as brocade, orbace, a coarse woollen fabric, and linen. The exhibits are accompanied by texts explaining the various stages in costume-making and its developments from the past to the present time. The costumes are worn by mannequins that appear to be engaged in daily-life activities.
Address: piazza Martiri (Palazzo Boyl), Milis Phone: +39 0783 51665 Managing Agency: Municipality of Milis Opening times: booking required Tickets: free entry