A GREAT EXHIBITION IN PALAZZO PITTI: 100 VERY RARE PICTURES TELL THE STORY OF FASHION IN FLORENCE THROUGH THE LENS OF FOTO LOCCHI

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One of Florence’s leading photography archives opens its treasures to the city with this first single-subject exhibition. On 9 January 2017, Fashion in Florence through the lens of Archivio Foto Locchi opened in Palazzo Pitti’s Andito degli Angiolini: 100 very rare pictures taken from the 1930s to ‘70s tell the story of fashion in Florence through the lens of the photographers of Foto Locchi.
The project stems from a collaboration between Archivio Storico Foto Locchi (a cultural patrimony of priceless value comprising more than five million photographs), director of the Uffizi Galleries Eike Schmidt, the Centro di Firenze per la Moda Italiana – thanks to which the exhibition will be inaugurated with an event during the 91st edition of Pitti Immagine Uomo – and the Gruppo Editoriale publishing group, with the intention of promoting the importance of the photography archive and paying tribute to the historic connection between Florence and fashion.

Eike D. Schmidt, director of the Uffizi Gallery: “Today, as the inevitable abstraction of objects and concrete spaces in the digital world creates an unprecedented search for authentic masterpieces and unique places, Florence has the chance to revitalise its specific role as a key player in the textile and apparel industries, which essentially date back to the Renaissance”.

Andrea Cavicchi, president of the Centro di Firenze per la Moda Italiana: “The Archivio storico Foto Locchi is the most authentic testament to the birth and success of Made in Italy in the world. Without this documentary heritage, the city of Florence would be poorer. So would the institution I chair, the Centro di Firenze per la Moda Italiana, championed by farsighted public officials who understood, even in 1954, just how important and vital the textile-apparel sector, the leather industry and the creativity of our artisanal products could be—in terms of work, turnover and employment”.

Erika Ghilardi, Archivio Foto Locchi: “This monographic exhibition, the first by the Archivio storico Foto Locchi, held in the halls of the old-guard Palazzo Pitti royals, and its opening during Pitti Uomo 91, is the source of my great pride and sincere excitement for myself and my family. The fashion section is one of the prevalent, important themes in the Archive—an archive whose cultural and visual heritage includes more than 5 million images telling the story of Florence over the last century”.

THE THREE SECTIONS OF THE EXHIBITION
The artisan workshops: That set of workshops dedicated to high craftsmanship since the Middle Ages, which in the twentieth century contributed to the creation of some of the best-known Italian high fashion labels in the world. Already in the Twenties, the legend of Florentine craftsmanship had arrived in the United States: wealthy American heiress turned to Florence to buy up embroidered lingerie, silverware, exquisitely worked leather and straw hats. Emblematic in this context was Salvatore Ferragamo’s decision to settle in Florence after 13 years of success in America. He chose Florence for its beauty as well as to delve into the depths of the specialized crafts that would allow the shoemaker to achieve his goals of excellence.
Fashion in Florence: from the earliest events after World War II to the legendary shows in Palazzo Pitti’s Sala Bianca (1952-1982), the origins of modern fashion in Florence are thanks to the courage of a man who was as courteous as he was severe, a connoisseur of the American market, Giovanni Battista Giorgini, who had made a name for himself in New York as a buyer capable of turning dreams into reality. If Giorgini was the father of Italian fashion, then Florence at that time was the cradle of beauty and charm, of a new style that emanated from the Florentine and international entourage that had formed around the newly born fashion system, as seen in the photography of those days taken by Foto Locchi reporters not only of the catwalks in the Sala Bianca, but also in the private palazzos and historic gardens with their gala dinners, parties and exclusive rendezvous.
The fashion celebrities: The Florentine maisons that birthed the modern history of Italian fashion such as Gucci, Salvatore Ferragamo and Emilio Pucci told by their founders and the celebrities who made them fashion around the world. The deus ex machina of the great Italian designers who showed their collections in the Sala Bianca: Roberto Capucci, Emilio Schuberth, Sorelle Fontana and Simonetta Colonna di Cesarò. Celebrities who had no qualms about taking a chance alongside Giovanni Battista Giorgini and who revolutionized modern Italian clothing starting in Florence. In addition to the special guests who flew in from Paris, like Christian Dior and Elsa Schiaparelli, the foreign aristocracy such as the Duke of Windsor and fated Hollywood stars, from Audrey Hepburn to Paulette Goddard and the divine Maria Callas.

Perusing the immense Archivio and annual agendas, written up daily by photo reporters from the Foto Locchi bottega, brings a constant stream of new discoveries. One example among many, which emerged during the research carried out for this exhibition, is the note dated 6 June 1948, indicating that that evening in the Sala Bianca, a “Gala Evening with Presentation of Models” (film rolls 568 and 569 from 1948). It was, then, a “preliminary” event to the noted fashion shows held regularly in Palazzo Pitti since 22 July 1952.

Accompanying the show is the catalogue published by Gruppo Editoriale featuring the 100 rare pictures on display in the exhibition and contextualized with articles written by Caterina Chiarelli, Eva Desiderio and Stefania Ricci, in addition to an introduction by Eike Schmidt, Andrea Cavicchi and Erika Ghilardi.

The exhibition has been made possible thanks to Fondazione Cassa di Risparmio di Firenze, Publiacqua, Toscana Aeroporti, and with the support of Dr. Vranjes, Edra and Caffè Gilli dal 1733 Firenze.

Palazzo Pitti, Andito degli Angiolini, Piazza de’ Pitti 1, 50125 Florence
From 9 January to 5 March 2017
Tuesday to Sunday, 8.45am-6.50pm

ARCHIVIO FOTO LOCCHI
Archivio Storico Foto Locchi is under the protection of the Italian Ministry of Cultural Heritage and Activities and Tourism for its high artistic and documentary value, since it comprises more than five million photographs of the history of Florence and Tuscany from the 1930s to the present day, stored as original negatives. Pictures from the world of fashion, sport, theatre, groundbreaking news and events, as well as fragments of daily life in the past and present. The black-and-white photography of Archivio Storico Foto Locchi convey fleeting feelings and atmospheres, in an extraordinary series of events, emotions and famous visitors from all over the world. The archive came into existence at the heart of the work by the old Foto Locchi photography workshop founded by Tullio Locchi and continued by Silvano Corcos as its soul. Over the years Locchi has grown into a flourishing firm employing more than 30 staff, whose aim remains the same: to document all city events worthy of note. With the arrival of television, the three large screens in piazza della Repubblica played a fundamental role in news reporting at the time. Now Erika Ghilardi, a direct descendent of the Locchi family, manages what can be deemed true world heritage.

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“HATS BETWEEN ART AND EXTRAVAGANCE”: IN FLORENCE THE FIRST MONOGRAPHIC SHOW WITH ITEMS BY FAMED FASHION HOUSES

The Galleria del Costume (Palazzo Pitti, Florence; from December 3, 2013 to  May 18, 2014) opens its doors to an accessory not destined to pass unnoticed. This will be the first monographic show dedicated to hats.  The Museum’s collections of this accessory, attributable to the generosity of many donors, amount to more than one thousand items usually kept in storage.  Only a part of these will be exhibited. Most of items on show are by famed fashion houses including Christian Dior, Givenchy, Chanel, Yves Saint Laurent, John Rocha, and Gianfranco Ferré.  There will also be a substantial number of items by celebrated international milliners of the present and past, such as Philip Treacy, Stephen Jones, Caroline Reboux, Claude Saint-Cyr and Paulette.  Finally, this will also be the first show to exhibit creations by Italian and Florentine milliners, some of them all but unknown.

The hat thus becomes a ‘work’ of art with its aesthetic harmony consisting in its ‘sculptural’ conformation, chromatic component and ornamental elegance. Superintendent for the Polo Museale Fiorentino, Cristina Acidini writes:  «This exhibition turns its attention to the changeable and subjective hat, the hat as a “work of art”, the hat as an “object of design” of the XX century and of the third millennium.» 

Director of the Galleria del Costume di Palazzo Pitti, Caterina Chiarelli stresses that hats can be studied from the historical-artistic viewpoint or they can be interpreted under the purely aesthetic profile, taking the liberty to formulate judgments or to express oneself using all-inclusive adjectives like “nice”, “imaginative”, “fantastic” and “fun”. The element of play prevails over the educational purpose in this exhibition and this is the message we want to launch and that Katia Sanchioni writes about.

The exhibition presents important loans from Cecilia Matteucci Lavarini, a private collector of haute couture and an illustrious donor of the Galleria del Costume, which are characterised for their value, taste and style.  This is also the opportunity to exhibit the extraordinary sketches MaestroAlberto Lattuada has created especially for the show, as well as to draw attention to the specimens created by Clemente Cartoni, famous Roman milliner in the 1950s and 60s.

The exhibition promoters are:  Ministero dei beni e delle attività culturali e del turismo, Direzione Regionale per i Beni Culturali e Paesaggistici della Toscana, Soprintendenza Speciale per il Patrimonio Storico, Artistico ed Etnoantropologico e per il Polo Museale della città di Firenze, Galleria del Costume di Palazzo Pitti, Firenze Musei. The show also benefits from the contributions of the Consortium Il Cappello di Firenze (Angiolo Frasconi, bettina®-Raffaello Bettini, Luca della Lama produced and distributed  by Facopel Produzione, Grevi, Corti by Cleò, Marzi Cappelli Firenze, Nanà Firenze by MazzantiPiume, Luigi & Guido Tesi, Soprattutto… Cappelli, Trendintex, Memar, Fratelli Reali & C spa, Santelli Francesca, Inverni Firenze 1892, Michelagnoli Giuseppe & Figli, Ambuchi e Bandinelli).  The show will exhibit some of the most characteristic specimens by the major Tuscan firms of the hat-making sector, heirs of the old artisanal production of the Straw Hat of Florence. The catalogue published by Sillabe contains historical-scientific profiles by Simona Fulceri and texts by Katia Sanchioni, Aurora Fiorentini, Dora Liscia Bemporad, and Nicola Squicciarino.

 

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Technical data

 

Ministero dei beni e delle attività culturali e del turismo

Direzione Regionale per i Beni Culturali e Paesaggistici della Toscana, Soprintendenza Speciale per il Patrimonio Storico, Artistico ed Etnoantropologico e per il Polo Museale della città di Firenze, Galleria del Costume – Palazzo Pitti Firenze Musei

Exhibition venue

Galleria del Costume – Palazzo Pitti

Exhibition to run

3rd December  2013 –  18th May 2014

Exhibition directed by

Caterina Chiarelli

curators

Simona Fulceri, Katia Sanchioni

Exhibition secretariat

Silvia Parrini, Susanna Sordi

 

Exhibition produced and managed by

Opera Laboratori Fiorentini – Civita Group

 

Administration

Silvia Sicuranza

Complementary services office

Simona Pasquinucci, Veruska Filipperi, Angela Rossi

Exhibition office

Sabrina Brogelli, Monica Fiorini, Marco Fossi; Salvatore Vicario

 

Exhibition layout

Mauro Linari

Exhibition layout produced by

Opera Laboratori Fiorentini – Civita Group

With the coordination of Leonardo Baldi

Restoration of the hats

Opera Laboratori Fiorentini – Civita Group

With the coordination of Simona Fulceri with Annalisa Alecci, Olga Bocchicchio, Silvia Frasca, Silvia Gozzi, Vitina Telesca

 

Communication curated by

Opera Laboratori Fiorentini – Civita Group

Website

http://www.cappelloinmostra.it

Coordination, communication  and public relations

Mariella Becherini Ph.+39 055. 290383 – m.becherini@operalaboratori.com

Press office

Salvatore La Spina – Ph.+39 055 290383 – Mb. 331 5354957 – ufficiostampa@operalaboratori.com

Barbara Izzo and Arianna Diana – Civita – Ph.+39 06 692050220-258 – Mb. 348 8535647 – izzo@civita.it

diana@civita.it

For Florence and Tuscany

Camilla Speranza – Ph.+39 055 217265 – Mb. 333 5315190 – camilla.speranzaufficiostampa@gmail.com

Image coordination

Laura Salomone – Civita

 

Catalogue

Sillabe

curated by

Simona Fulceri, Katia Sanchioni

“THE ALLEGORY OF PATIENCE”: ONE OF THE MOST SIGNIFICANT PAINTINGS IN THE MEDICI COLLECTIONS ON SHOW AT PALAZZO PITTI IN FLORENCE (ITALY)

 VASARI

At Galleria Palatina (Palazzo Pitti, Florence, Italy) an exhibition opened on one of the most significant paintings in the Medici collections, The Allegory of Patience, which belonged to cardinal Leopoldo de’ Medici and is today held in the Sala di Prometeo in the same Palazzo Pitti. Initially attributed to Parmigianino in the inventories of Palazzo Pitti, catalogued in the museum’s first guides under the name of Francesco Salviati, and later attributed to Girolamo Siciolante by Federico Zeri, the painting is today recognised as fruit of the collaboration between Giorgio Vasari and Spanish artist Gaspar Becerra. Its complex collectors’ history involves important figures tied to the court of Cosimo I and Giorgio Vasari himself.

The first of these was Bernardetto Minerbetti,bishop of Arezzo and ambassador of Cosimo I, a refined man of letters and patron of the Renaissance philosophical and literary academy known as the Accademia Fiorentina. Shortly after 1550, he requested Vasari to execute a painting that in a new and emblematic manner would represent the principal virtue of his character, that is to say the art of Patience. Vasari accepted and proposed to his patron an invention inspired by ancient sculpture, enriched by a refined symbolic repertory alluding to time and to the life of man. The invention took the shape of a young woman chained to a rock, patiently waiting for the drops of water falling from a vase to corrode the stone and thus set her free. This scholarly and very cultured image would become quite popular far beyond the borders of Florence, soon reaching the Ferrara court of Ercole II d’Este who did not hesitate to use it in his ‘impresa’. In fact, a few years after Minerbetti’s painting, Duke Ercole II d’Este commissioned a new version of the Patience from Camillo Filippi, intended for the so-called “Camera della Pazienza” in the tower of Santa Caterina of his castle in Ferrara. The Duke also introduced the same personification on the verso of a famous medal that Pompeo Leoni coined in 1554, on the base of a bust sculpted by Prospero Sogari Spani and in a series of coins produced by the mint of Ferrara.

Anna Bisceglia curates the exhibition and the catalogue published by Sillabe to investigate these elements along the underlying themes of patronage, literary sources, and artists’ explorations against the complex and fascinating backdrop of the Italy of royal courts. Alongside the Vasari Allegory of Patience, visitors will see the same theme in an artwork that Camillo and Sebastiano Filippi executed in 1553-54 and currently in the Galleria Estense of Mantua. This version also inspired the portrayal of this virtue on the base of the bust of Ercole II sculpted by Prospero Sugari, known as Clemente (1554), and on the medals that Pompeo Leoni executed for the Duke (Florence, Bargello, 1554 ca.). Moreover, a large painting from the Galleria dell’Accademia of Venice will illustrate the complex genesis of this iconographic motif. It was part of a wooden coffered ceiling executed for the Corner family in 1542. Finally, the exhibition will also present the little painting on wood from the Uffizi, mistakenly known as Artemisia mourns Mausolus, which instead has been recognised as a Patience, and several drawings and engravings from the Gabinetto Disegni e Stampe of Florence and the Cabinet des Dessins du Louvre.

P.Leoni - Duca Ercole

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Exhibition Credits

Promoters

Ministero per i Beni e le Attività Culturali e Turismo, Direzione Regionale per i Beni Culturali e Paesaggistici della Toscana, Soprintendenza Speciale per il Patrimonio Storico, Artistico ed Etnoantropologico e per il Polo Museale della città di Firenze, Galleria Palatina, Firenze Musei

Exhibition Venue

Galleria Palatina – Palazzo Pitti, Florence, 26 November 2013 – 5 January 2014

Exhibition curated and Catalogue edited by Anna Bisceglia

Exhibition directed by Alessandro Cecchi

Exhibition installation designed and directed by Mauro Linari

Exhibition installation produced by Opera Laboratori Fiorentini – Civita Group

Coordination, communication and public relations: Opera Laboratori Fiorentini – Civita Group

Ticket prices

Full price: € 13.00; Concessions: € 6.50 for E.U. citizens from 18 to 25 years of age. Free admission for visitors under 18 and E.U. citizens over 65 years of age. Hours: Tuesday – Sunday: 8:15 am – 6:50 pm; ticket counter closes at 6:05 pm. Closed Mondays