illycaffè celebrates the 30th anniversary of the illy Art Collection during the Milan Design Week with an exhibition tracing the history of the iconic coffee cup

Milan, June 1st, 2022 – illycaffè celebrates the 30th anniversary of the illy Art Collection - the renowned coffee cups were first unveiled in 1992 and have been decorated over the years by over 100 acclaimed international artists - with an exhibition hosted by Around Gallery at Corso Venezia 6, on the occasion of the Milan Design Week.

The exhibition traces the history of the iconic illy cup and details the origins of the creative process that led to its design: sketches, drawings, and other original materials will illustrate for the visitor the spirit and artistic élan of Matteo Thun, who in 1991 was picked by illy to create what over the years has become a veritable icon of design: the illy cup. Since 1992, it has been a blank canvas for internationally renowned artists to decorate as they please.

“We are happy to celebrate this major milestone, which cements the company’s strong and long-lasting bonds with the world of contemporary art, with an event that will allow the public to re-live the history and origins of the iconic illy cup. Today, the cup still manages to stand out and inspire, remaining an active part of our everyday lives, and transforming the simple gesture of enjoying an illy espresso into an artistic experience” commented Cristina Scocchia, CEO of illycaffè.

The exhibition will include a section dedicated to the decorations featured in the 114 collections and 459 cups, which currently comprise one of the largest collections of contemporary art in the world. The last room features an evocative display called the “Take Me Home Wall”, with postcards depicting 30 of the most iconic illy Art Collections, which visitors will be able to take home as souvenirs. The exhibition will be open to the public from 2:00 pm on Wednesday June 8th until 6:00 pm on Friday June 10th.

“30 years old and still looking great… the illy cup is simplicity, purity, and functionality all rolled into one: a timeless object and the best way to savour an excellent espresso! I am grateful to illy for having involved me in this project so many years ago, and I am happy that a great many artists used the cup to showcase their ideas” says Matteo Thun.

The exhibition will also serve as the backdrop for the launch of the book illy Art Collection - 30 Years of Beauty (published by Silvana Editoriale), which details one-by-one each illy Art Collection and its decorations through essays, explanations, trivia, and a wealth of images. The book, with text in Italian and English, will be available in Italy starting in June from the illy e-shop and from single-brand retail outlets (illy Cafè and illy Shop), on as well as in major bookstores and museum bookshops.

Salone del Mobile.Milano, which celebrates its 60th edition this year, will feature illycaffè both at the Fair and at official side events, with dedicated spaces for tasting and discovering the unique 100% Arabica illy blend. Our coffee will also be available in the showrooms of several of the leading and best-loved design brands: Kartell, Lissoni & Partners, Molteni, Moroso, Poltrona Frau, UniFor and at the exhibition INTERNI Design Re-Generation.

Corso Venezia 6 (third floor), Milan

Opening hours:
Wednesday, June 8 from 2:00pm to 6:00pm 
Thursday, June 9th and Friday, June 10th, from 10.00am to 6.00pm