When Hollywood Fell In Love with Modern Italian Art


October 22, 2015

A conversation with Raffaele Bedarida, CIMA 2013-14 Fellow, PhD candidate at The Graduate Center, CUNY

As Italy moved from the decade of Reconstruction (1945-1955) to the Economic Miracle (1958-1963), an image of a “new Italy” emerged in the United States. Gone was the redemptive rhetoric of a destroyed and impoverished country resurfacing from the war’s rubble; what prevailed now was a modern, glamorous, and pleasing facade. Modern Italian art played a key role in reshaping Americans’ perception of Italy, and during the second half of the 1950s it enjoyed unprecedented success in this country. Nearly a dozen exhibitions of contemporary art from Italy toured the country during these years. Beyond the art world, Italian artists such as Marino Marini, Massimo Campigli, Alberto Burri, and Afro Basaldella conquered Hollywood and the fashion world, and they seduced millions of Americans through mainstream TV programs, movies, and illustrated magazines.

Join us for an evening with former CIMA Fellow Raffaele Bedarida for an exploration of the emergence of a taste for modern Italian art in late 1950s America.