Past Fellows

Rae Di Cicco

Travel Fellow 2016-17

Rae Di Ciccio
Photo by Melanie Pfeffer

Rae Di Cicco is a PhD candidate in the History of Art and Architecture at the University of Pittsburgh. She specializes in the modern art, design, and cultural history of Central Europe. Her work investigates issues of identity and politics faced in the region during the transition from imperial to national organization after World War I. Her research explores the incorporation of signifiers of national artistic styles into South Tyorlian-born Austrian-Italian artist Erika Giovanna Klien’s artistic production as a kind of cosmopolitan imagination, visualizing – literally making visual – hybrid and shifting identity and multiple belonging.

For her CIMA travel fellowship, Rae will consider collaborations and communication between Klien and her colleagues and the Italian Futurists, primarily Filippo Tommaso Marinetti and Enrico Prampolini. By investigating Klien’s active involvement with Italian Futurism, Rae’s dissertation aims to elucidate some of the ways in which cultural production has acted as a medium through which artists challenged exclusionary conceptions of belonging in Central Europe. This research forms part of a wider project that examines the navigation of certain subject positions in the avant grade.

Fabio Cafagna

Spring 2017


Fabio Cafagna is the recipient of the first MiBACT-SNS-CIMA Fellowship, a six-month fellowship for Italian citizens focused on postwar and contemporary Italian art, funded by the Italian Ministry of Culture and organized with the support of the Scuola Normale Superiore in Pisa. Fabio completed a Ph.D. in history of art criticism at La Sapienza – University of Rome (2015). His research project entailed the reconstruction of the history of the chair of artistic anatomy at the Academy of Fine Arts in Turin in the 19th century.

During his time at CIMA, he plans to examine the relationships that the US gallery director John Weber had with the Italian artistic avant-garde. He is focusing in particular on the period between the opening of his New York-based gallery (1971) and the end of the first fruitful decade of activity (1981), when Weber finally moved away from the famous SoHo Art Building, 420 West Broadway. During these years, the Italian presence was far from accidental. In fact, Weber was one of the most important American dealers of Italian art, and the program of exhibitions he held clearly shows his deep knowledge of Italian contemporary aesthetic research. If examined through a solid core of data, John Weber’s activity will reveal the connections between the growing US art market and the constitution of an Italian aesthetic canon.


Silvia Bottinelli

Travel Fellow 2016-17

Silvia Bottinelli

Silvia is a full-time faculty member in the Visual and Critical Studies Department at the School of the Museum of Fine Art – Tufts University. She received her PhD from the University of Pisa in 2008. Her dissertation, published by the Fondazione Ragghianti and Pacini Fazzi (Lucca, 2010), analyzes the ways in which the Italian magazine seleArte (1952-66) discussed international art in the aftermath of fascism; seleArte was edited by Carlo Ludovico Ragghianti and supported by Adriano Olivetti. In Silvia’s first book, Un Premio Dimenticato (Florence, Edifir 2007), she studied the Florentine Gallery of Modern Art’s Fiorino collection, which includes contemporary artworks acquired between 1950 and 1978 by the Pitti Palace. This publication was inspired by Silvia’s master’s thesis (Scuola di Specializzazione) at the University of Pisa. Silvia’s present research interests are diverse and incorporate themes such as domesticity, food, materiality, and cultural translation in the history of Western art in the 20th and 21st centuries. Her articles have appeared in magazines and journals such as, among others: Art Journal, Art Papers, Sculpture, Food Studies, Predella, Richerche di Storia dell’Arte, and Annali di Critica d’Arte. Silvia has also contributed to a number of exhibition catalogues and edited volumes.

For her CIMA travel fellowship, Silvia will conduct research at libraries and archives in Bologna, Florence, Rome, Milan, Rovereto, and Turin. Silvia’s findings will support the arguments articulated by her book in progress, which focuses on the representation of the domestic in Italian art and visual culture between 1942 and 1972.


Matilde Guidelli-Guidi

Fall 2015

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Matilde is a PhD Candidate in Modern Art History at The Graduate Center, CUNY focusing on twentieth-century European art, media, and architecture, with an emphasis on the return to realism in the interwar years.  Her current research focuses on the built environments and architectural visualizations of the Milanese architectural firm B.B.P.R. (est. 1932).  Previously, between Bologna and Paris she completed her BA and MA in Early Modern Art History. Her thesis investigated testimonies of sculpture conservation in early modern Italy as practical thinking about the historicity of the artwork.  In parallel, she assisted in curating exhibitions and publications at the Musée du Louvre, the International Center of Photography, and the Paula Cooper Gallery, and participated in the 2015 MoMA MRC Workshops, dedicated to the sculptures of Pablo Picasso.

For her CIMA Fellowship, Matilde posits World House Galleries, the New York commercial gallery that gave Giorgio Morandi his first North-American monographic exhibitions (1957, 1960), at the center of an extensive study of the reception of the Bolognese artist in New York’s artistic circles, 1953-1968.


Lucia Piccioni

Fall 2015


Lucia holds a Ph.D. in Art History from the École des Hautes Études en Sciences Sociales (Paris) and the Scuola Normale Superiore (Pise) where she completed her dissertation “Painting and Politics during the Italian Fascism: ‘Italianities’ in Conflict (1922- 1943)” under the supervision of professors Éric Michaud and Mario Pezzella. As a Researcher Assistant she worked during a four-year experience (2009-2012) at the Institut National d’Histoire de l’Art (INHA) in Paris, involved in the historiographical research axis National Issues of Artistic Discourses, 1900-1950 directed by Anne Lafont. She has been a tutor in Art History at the University Panthéon-Sorbonne since 2011 and received a postdoctoral fellowship (2014-2015) at the Deutsches Forum für Kunstgeschichte under the annual program The Liberated Paris and the Arts headed by Laurence Bertrand Dorléac and Thomas Kirchner. 

Her research for CIMA deals with the deeply human and anti-technological dimension of Morandi’s still lifes, focusing on writings about the relations between man and technique of German philosophers Oswald Spengler and Walter Benjamin, two main and antagonist figures of the 1930s.


Nicola Lucchi

Spring 2016

Nicola LucciNicola is a doctoral candidate in Italian Studies at New York University. His dissertation investigates an understudied case of Italian industrial architecture, the Fiat Lingotto car assembly plant. Through an interdisciplinary approach, Nicola is mapping the factory’s sociopolitical, cultural, and aesthetic resonances in interwar Italy. During his undergraduate studies in Italy, at the University of Trieste, Lucchi wrote a thesis on the 1949 MoMA exhibition Twentieth Century Italian Art, with a particular focus on the political framework that surrounded the event. Lucchi’s research interests include Futurism, Socialist Realism, modern Italian literature, visual culture, and the cultural rapports between Italy and the United States during the 20th century. Lucchi has written on the visual and linguistic challenges prompted by modernity and postmodernity in the painterly work of Eugenio Montale, and he is completing essays on Bruno Munari’s activity as a graphic designer. 

For his CIMA fellowship, Lucchi investigated the network of institutions, exhibitions, personal and professional rapports that favored the diffusion of Morandi’s art in the United States during the interwar years.


Nicol Maria Mocchi

Spring 2016

Nicol Maria is an Italian art historian specialized in nineteenth- and twentieth-century art. She obtained her PhD in 2014 at the University of Udine with a thesis on International Visual Sources of Italian Art during the Symbolist period. Since 2010, she has collaborated with the University of Milan and the Archivio dell’Arte Metafisica, dealing specifically with the cultural and intellectual development of Alberto Savinio and Giorgio de Chirico during their early Milanese and Florentine periods (StudiOnLine, no.1 and no. 2, 2014; La cultura dei fratelli de Chirico agli albori dell’arte metafisica, 1909-1911, forthcoming 2015), and in the post-war period (Origine e sviluppi dell’arte metafisica. Milano e Firenze 1909-1911 e 1919-1922, Conference proceedings, Milan, 28-29 Oct. 2010). Her main fields of interest are the relationships and exchanges between different visual cultures, with strong focus on German, Swiss-German and Northern Italian artists of the late 19th and early 20th centuries (L’Uomo Nero, no. 4-5, 2006 and no. 11, 2015; Prospettiva, forthcoming).

During her fellowship at CIMA, she will be working on the reception, visual success and critical fortunes of Giorgio Morandi’s œuvre in the United Stated leading up to the 1940s.


Teresa Kittler

Travel Fellow 2015-16


Teresa received her PhD in 2014 at University College London. Her dissertation focused on the social, material, and aesthetic engagement with the image of home on the site of sculptural production by artists in Italy in the 1960s. Since completing her PhD she has worked as Assistant Curator for the 10th Gwangju Biennale. She has also taught on a range of topics at BA level in the History of Art Department and in the Slade School of Fine Art at University College London and at the Ruskin School of Art in Oxford.


For her CIMA travel fellowship, Teresa will consider  collaborations between architects and artists for industrial trade fairs such as the Milan Triennale and Eurodomus when debates around the meaning of habitat and the spatial-political turn in the writings of critics brought the disciplines of sculpture and architecture into dialogue. This research forms part of a wider project that examines sculptural production in Italy in the postwar period through the lens of habitat.


Fall 2014

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Chiara Fabi is an Italian art historian. She received her doctorate in 2011 at the University of Udine, with a dissertation on the early career of the sculptor Giacomo Manzù (1929-1945). Since that time she has conducted post-doctoral research on the visual sources for Marino Marini’s sculptures, and took part in the National Research Project (PRIN) working on “The multiplication of art: visual culture in Italy, from popular to specialized reviews, magazines, and daily newspapers.” She published several essays on the reception of Italian art abroad during the 1930s (L’Uomo Nero, no. 10, 2013) and on the “osmosis” between official art and the popularization of art history in Italian illustrated magazines (Studi di Memofonte, no. 11, 2013). She is currently publishing a catalogue of the Collection Marino Marini at the Museo del Novecento in Milan (Silvana Ed., forthcoming 2014).

For her CIMA fellowship, Fabi is working on visual representations of Rosso’s work in the United States between the 1940s and the 1960s.


Fall 2014

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Francesco Guzzetti is a doctoral candidate at the Scuola Normale Superiore, Pisa. His dissertation concerns the artistic dialogues between Italy and the United States in the 1960s and 1970s, comparing the productions of Conceptual and Arte Povera artists and their ways of rereading the work of earlier artists, such as Medardo Rosso and the Futurists, and their American Abstract Art counterparts. This work builds on his master’s degree, which explored the 1970 exhibition Conceptual Art, Arte Povera, Land Art in Turin. In 2010 he curated the exhibition Ennio Morlotti, 1945-47 at the Museo del Novecento, Milan. Among his publications are “Carrà di fronte a Giotto: la monografia del 1924 per Valori Plastici” (ONH Opera Nomina Historiae, no. 7, forthcoming 2014) and “Marini, o della policromia / Marini, or on polychromy” in the exhibition catalogue Marino Marini: Cavalli e Cavalieri / Horses and Riders (Museo d’Arte Moderna, Nuora; Silvana Editoriale, 2012).

For his CIMA fellowship he will be conducting research on Rosso’s legacy and critical reception after World War II.