The Accademia Toscana di Arti e Manifatture, which has been annexed to the Istituto Tecnico Toscano since 1850, originated a long time ago, and can in fact be traced to the Corpo degli Artigiani set up in 1807 at the Academy of Fine Arts. On the first Sunday of the month, these artisans were admitted to a special “gathering” attended by teachers of architecture, mathematics and decoration at the Academy of Fine Arts, for the purpose of “reasoning on practical cases proposed by the members, with the topic of the gathering being chosen by appointed professors”.
A little later in 1809, the functions and aims of the Corpo degli Artigiani were absorbed by a new institute desired by the French government of Tuscany: the “Conservatory of Arts and Crafts”, always at the Academy of Fine Arts. It had two schools: the first one, of elementary mechanics, and the second, of chemistry as applied to the arts.
In 1813 the Academy of Fine Arts was once against organised into three “classes”:
- the first for the Art of Drawing
- the second for Music and Declamation
- the third for Arts and Crafts.
The functions of the Conservatory, of its schools (Mechanics and Chemistry), consultant professors and the associates of the Conservatory were then organised under the new name of “Third Class of the Academy of Arts and Crafts”.
In 1832 a specific Statute was drawn up for the Third Class of the Academy and for the first time appeared the designation of “Academy of Arts and Craftsmanship”, which summarises the previous functions with the relative names of “Class of Arts and Craftsmanship" that refers more precisely to the schools of Arts and Crafts.
The aims and the composition of the Academy of Arts and Craftsmanship at the moment of its association with the Istituto Tecnico Toscano can be seen clearly in the Statute of the same, under the Titolo X.
Statute of the Istituto Tecnico Toscano, Titolo X:
“Art. 32 The aim of the Accademia delle Arti e Manifatture is to combine the most eminent industrialists and manufacturers into a single association, and to connect them with deserving Scientists and citizens of the national industry.
Art. 33 Furthermore, by means of its gatherings and with the publication of its Proceedings, this Academy aids in disseminating discoveries that are useful to the Arts and to trade.
Art. 34 It is composed of five orders of members. The first is that of the honorary members, who are a part of the academic body for having favoured national industry by promoting certain manufactures or excavations of mines in the country, or by improving the conditions of artisans.
The second is that of the scientists, who belong to the Academy in virtue of the public consideration that they deserve for sure proofs of ability in the physical and mathematical sciences, and in the applications of these to industrial Arts. The third order of members is that of the producers, who are a part of the Academy as owners of substantial factories and manufactories. The fourth order is that of the experts who belong to the Academy for having given unquestionable demonstrations of expertise in certain work processes. The fifth order is that of the foreign members, who are scientists, producers or experts, in accordance with the same titles as those that the Tuscan Academies define as scientists, producers, or experts.”