Rebirth of Rome. Echoes and origins: interwar italian design

Aug 25, 2013 2349

For its fall 2013 exhibition season, on the occasion of the Year of Italian culture in the US, The Wolfsonian–Florida International University presents a program of independent though interrelated exhibitions, entitled Rebirth of Rome, that examine the aesthetics of dictatorship in interwar Italy

September 27, 2013 (opening) - Miami Beach - The Wolfsonian–FIU

Each exhibition addresses responses to the challenges of modernity, as seen in the over 200 objects of public works, mural paintings, architecture, design, and decorative arts in Italy in the 1920s and 1930s, drawn from The Wolfsonian's collection, with loans from the museum's founder, Mitchell Wolfson, Jr., and from Marcello Cambi and the Wolfsoniana in Genoa. The sum of the exhibitions comprises a portrait of Italy in the modern age, highlighting the dialogue between politics and aesthetics that largely defined its self-representation during this critical period of its history.

Echoes and Origins is an exhibition of applied arts and design objects that collectively evidence the dilemma of creating a unified national identity faced by Italy in the 1920s and '30s. Responding to the demand for forms of expression that would integrate tradition with revolutionary change, designers of the period developed dramatically different strategies to convey varied notions of Italian culture and identity. A selection of furniture, ceramics, graphic and product design, and industrial objects offers a survey of the aesthetic pluralism embraced by the Italian government in the interwar period. This position was adopted to aid the state in turning a diverse population into a common community, wedding notions of the Imperial Roman past with the spirit and technology of modernity.

Rebirth of Rome is made possible by the Italian Consulate General Miami and the Italian Cultural Institute New York, with additional support from the Poltrona Frau Group Miami and the Leon Levy Foundation. We would also like to thank Mitchell Wolfson, Jr., Marcello Cambi in Genoa, and the Wolfsoniana–Fondazione Regionale per la Cultura e lo Spettacolo in Genoa for their generous loans to the exhibition.

The Wolfsonian–Florida International University is a museum, library, and research center that uses objects to illustrate the persuasive power of art and design, to explore what it means to be modern, and to tell the story of social, historical, and technological changes that have transformed our world. The collections comprise approximately 120,000 objects from the period of 1885 to 1945—the height of the Industrial Revolution to the end of the Second World War—in a variety of media including furniture; industrial-design objects; works in glass, ceramics, and metal; rare books; periodicals; ephemera; works on paper; paintings; textiles; and medals. The Wolfsonian is located at 1001 Washington Avenue, Miami Beach, FL. Admission is $7 for adults; $5 for seniors, students, and children age 6 -12; and free for Wolfsonian members, State University System of Florida staff and students with ID, and children under six. The museum is open daily from noon-6 p.m.; Friday from noon-9 p.m.; and closed on Wednesday. Contact us at 305.531.1001 or visit us online at for further information.

The Wolfsonian–FIU is proud to receive ongoing support from The State of Florida; Department of Cultural Affairs; The Florida Council on Arts and Culture; The Miami-Dade County Department of Cultural Affairs and the Cultural Affairs Council, The Miami-Dade County Mayor and Board of County Commissioners; The City of Miami Beach Cultural Affairs Program Cultural Arts Council; Bacardi, USA., Inc.; The Arthur F. and Alice E. Adams Foundation; The Wolfsonian Visionaries; and United Airlines, the Official Airline of The Wolfsonian–FIU.

Florida International University is one of the twenty-five largest universities in the nation, with more than forty-two thousand students. Nearly one hundred thirty thousand FIU alumni live and work in South Florida. Its colleges and schools offer more than two hundred bachelor's, master's and doctoral programs in fields such as engineering, international relations and law. As one of South Florida's anchor institutions, FIU is worlds ahead in its local and global engagement, finding solutions to the most challenging problems of our time. FIU emphasizes research as a major component of its mission. The opening of the Herbert Wertheim College of Medicine in August 2009 has enhanced the university's ability to create lasting positive change in our community. For more information about FIU, visit

The Wolfsoniana–Fondazione Regionale per la Cultura e lo Spettacolo, the Italian partner of The Wolfsonian–FIU, focuses on the study and exhibition of decorative and propaganda arts spanning the same period as the Wolfsonian collections. The Wolfsoniana opened as a study center in 1993 and expanded into a museum in 2005. Located in Genoa, its collection comprises a significant portion of Italian materials collected by Mitchell Wolfson, Jr. and gifted by him in 2007 to the Fondazione Regionale per la Cultura e lo Spettacolo.

Wolfsoniana Museum – via Serra Gropallo, 4, 16167 Genoa Nervi, Italy
phone + 1 39 010 3231329

Wolsoniana Study Center – Palazzo Ducale, Piazza Matteotti, 9, 16123 Genoa, Italy
phone + 1 39 010 5761393

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