Museum of Capitalism Proposal by Mario Savioni

As follows are two drawings I did for the Museum of Capitalism contest. The statement follows that explains my submission.





The project 1044, AKA “Rosebud,” is a courtyard design with three sides that is open at the front. On the sides are high walls, outer and inner. The inner wall is lined with small skylights that cast light down into the basement, where there are small “support rooms.” Each contains a bed on the floor and one chest of drawers. The outer wall is black with the exception of real or faux leg and arm bones lying horizontally in the wall material. In the courtyard are umbrellas and tables with topiaries as well as a fountain containing a “Rosebud” sleigh as seen in the Citizen Kane movie. The back wall of the courtyard houses a bas-relief of Karl Marx, three embedded guillotines, two stairwells leading down to the basement, and a quotation from Marx’s Capital. (See: 1044-1.jpg)

The outer wall of the courtyard with the horizontal bones has a cut-out shape that resembles half of a mechanical wheel that represents a ladder that cannot be climbed. The inner wall has a slanted top. The three guillotines align the back wall and are under the bas-relief and next to the stairwells.

The ground of the courtyard is black with odd, white broken porcelain inlays, symbolizing crushed/broken human bones. This view is seen in the middle section of the 11”x17” image (See: 1044-2.jpg).

In the basement of the Capitalism Museum, at the bottom of the stairwells, is a great room containing only a grand chandelier celebrating opulence but also having the feeling of emptiness and aloneness.

Small rooms align the great room. They have ceilings no higher than 5 feet and are no larger than what it would take to house a chest of drawers and a small bed. The skylight shafts, one for each room, are connected to the inner wall in the courtyard and cast light into the rooms.

“Rosebud” symbolized a psychological event that either created an inhumane personality or triggered/validated a genetically predetermined one. We have learned in psychology that we can create personalities or bring them out due to environmental influence. Capitalism is that type of manifestation of a dark side of humanity that is a velvet glove, at best, with an iron fist. It is fascism, dictatorship, and the delusion of hope for The People, and plays on their greed. I am hoping one gets a sense of this during their visit to the Capitalism Museum.


Looking down at Capitalism Museum


  1. To me both designs are great because they are critical of capitalism. I see Karl Marx’s statement as the summary of the main evils of capitalism on human beings. I find the idea of the Rosebud Fountain original. It could mean some hope for our society because Rosebud represents Kane’s loss of innocence. Have we all lost it and become so evil or do we have a possibility for a change? I personally believe in change. We should never give up hope.

    • Actually, looking back at this, I hadn’t realized I did not respond. Both designs are of different parts of the design. The upper is of the different levels, with the surface also encompassed in the second of the triptych. All as one are critical, as you say, of capitalism. The Rosebud statute stands as a monument to the effect of some external or even internal force (genetics) that a lays the world with the negative force that makes a braggart, or someone with an insufferable need to be the best.

  2. And then the broken bones of the people to show how destructive the capitalist system is to humans. It is a pity your designs were not chosen for the museum project.

  3. Thank you for the explanations. I think it all makes perfect sense. It is a pity your design was not chosen. Perhaps the selection board thought it is too critical of capitalism? But then, if so, what is the point of building a museum of capitalism without being critical of the system?

    • I also think my design was too plain. I am sure there were brilliant designs. The point however was to allude to banality, which is how and why Capitalism thrives. Everything is going on in the background. You and I just sit in our rooms in a state of boredom, while the players are making the big deals.

  4. Yes. You are absolutely right. The majority of my friends and I are constantly trying to find alternative ways to this unfair system. But that is not always possible. It is very difficult to get rid of the big companies. Besides most people are afraid of change. We are too often accomplices of the system.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s