Once in a lifetime treasures from the archives and libraries of Florence

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Three archive documents concerning Michelangelo, a drawing by Raphael, the baptism certificate of Leonardo da Vinci and another text bearing his annotations, a lecture on Dante’s Inferno written by Galileo, works by Andrea Mantegna, Alessandro Allori and Giovanni Stradano, autographs of Girolamo Savonarola, Poliziano, Cosimo I de’ Medici, Joachim Winckelmann, Ugo Foscolo, Giuseppe Pelli Bencivenni, Giovanni Fabbroni, Pietro Vieusseux, Eugenio Barsanti, Vasco Pratolini, Eduardo De Filippo and Dino Campana, Nobel Prize-winner Eugenio Montale, and two of the poet’s unedited watercolours.

The Firenze 2014 Un anno ad arte exhibition series opens with all this and much more with the show entitled, Once in a Lifetime: Treasures from the Archives and Libraries of Florence, on the calendar from 28 January to 27 April 2014 and hosted in the Sala Bianca in Palazzo Pitti. It is promoted by the Polo Museale Fiorentino in collaboration with the Soprintendenza Archivistica della Toscana, the Biblioteca Nazionale Centrale di Firenze, the Libraries, Archives and Cultural Institutions Department of the Regional Administration of Tuscany, Firenze Musei and the Ente Cassa di Risparmio di Firenze. The exhibition originates from a project sponsored by the Fondazione Florens and is directed by Alessandro Cecchi (Director of the Galleria Palatina) with the curatorship of scholar and historian Marco Ferri.

The exhibition will bring some 133 items to visitors’ attention, including manuscripts, books and drawings, which come from 33 city institutions. Its purpose is to offer a “unique” opportunity to admire treasures on paper, held in some of the most important cultural “treasure chests” of the city. The showpieces will include a selection of inedited works, a sequence on paper that comes from various archives and libraries and have never been seen by the public. The first among them concerns Michelangelo Buonarroti and is a sheet with Sketches of blocks of marble and a shape for a Crucifix: in practice, the instructions for “quarrying” stone blocks from the mountain, including one in the shape of a cross and ready to be sculpted. Exhibited in Vienna in 1997, this document from the Archive of the Fondazione Casa Buonarroti has never been on public display in Italy. On the occasion of the Palazzo Pitti show, for the first time, visitors will be able to admire ancient manuscripts – including an anthem book from the 13th century – that come from the archives of the Misericordia di Firenze, the Convent of Santissima Annunziata and the Convent of Buonuomini di San Martino, institutions that have never made loans before. The books and documents on show will feature the first dictionary published by the Accademia della Crusca in 1612, an edition of Vasari’s Lives of the Artists dated 1568, the first Italian edition of Topolino (Mickey Mouse) dated 1932, a letter book that belonged to Bianca Cappello, half a dozen copies of the Divine Comedy (including one with illustrations by Alessandro Botticelli), the document with which Louis XI of France granted Piero de’ Med- ici permission to use the French lily in the coat of arms of the Tuscan dynasty, the law enacted by Pietro Leopoldo of Lorraine that in 1786 abolished capital punishment in the Grand Duchy of Tuscany, the Libro di Montaperti, the Testamento of Folco Portinari, and a papyrus from the I century B.C.

This display of wonders will also include documents and books from an archive and a library momentarily not accessible to the public: the Archive of the Accademia degli Immobili, which represents the documentary “memory” of the Teatro della Pergola, and the Library of the Banca CR Firenze on Via Bufalini, which is scheduled to open to the public in 2014.

As part of the show, the Accademia del Georgofili will propose various archive pieces, including an unedited drawing (from a 1940s publication for children) by Sergio Tofano, known as Sto. The Biblioteca degli Uffizi will contribute numerous letters from the so-called “Carte Fedi” collection, including many letters – all of them unpublished – that Anna Franchi collected and that contain drawings and sketches by the most famous Macchiaioli painters, from Lega to Fattori to Signorini.

The exhibition opens with a panel bearing the letter Giovanni Fabbroni, in his capacity as representative of the provisional Government appointed by the Regency of Tuscany, wrote in 1800 to the then-first consul of France, Napoleon Bonaparte. In this letter, he requested “protection for the arts and science, entreating immunity and salvation for all the public establishments destined to education.” Then follow the showcases – one for each institution– presenting the “jewels” selected for the exhibition, each one with an explanatory key.

In addition to the main visiting itinerary, a small section will be dedicated to the consequences that the archive and book heritage of Florence suffered in two dramatic moments of its history: the flood of 1966 and the bombing of Via dei Georgofili in 1993. The showcase that closes the exhibition presents visitors with a close-up view of three articles from the archive and book patrimony damaged by the flood and not restored, in addition to a book that was practically destroyed in the bombing 21 years ago. It will serve as a warning and reminder to everyone that our cultural patrimony, especially the less exhibited parts, are worthy of admiration and of all our attention

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Editor-in-chief

Da bambina sognavo di fare la giornalista e studiare fisica quantistica, poi mi sono laureata in Sociologia, soffermandomi sulle differenti tipologie di leadership attraverso le illuminanti opere di William Shakespeare. Qualche idea, però, deve essere stata ben chiara sin da allora perché la giornalista è ciò che faccio e amo fare da adulta. In qualità di Direttore artistico sono stata la prima donna ad aver diretto il Tepidarium del Roster al Giardino dell’Orticoltura di Firenze, la più grande serra in stile Liberty esistente in Italia e la più piccola d’Europa, costruita nel 1859 dall’Accademia dei Georgofili. Collaboro con gallerie e accademie d’arte, scuole, associazioni, musei, università e fondazioni, prevalentemente in Italia, Cina, Stati Uniti e Russia. Nel 2011 sono tra i fondatori dell’Associazione Acontemporaryart di cui sono Presidente; curo e organizzo esposizioni di artisti italiani e stranieri a Firenze, Roma, Venezia, Parigi, etc... Dal 2013 sono Direttore responsabile del giornale Florence is You, 20.000 copie cartacee ogni bimestre, aggiornamenti quotidiani online (www.florenceisyou.com), impostazione bilingue italiano-inglese e partners istituzionali da tutto il mondo. Nell’ottobre 2017 sono stata eletta Accademica d’Onore all’Accademia delle Arti del Disegno di Firenze, fondata nel 1563 da Giorgio Vasari e di cui Michelangelo fu primo Accademico. Volevo una macchina da scrivere americana, non una a caso, ma la Underwood, che è poi stata un regalo, decisamente degno di nota, di un fidanzato che per questo autentico merito è ora più di un fratello. Il motto preferito? Il latino “Per aspera ad astra”, ma anche il mediceo “Festina lente” come soleva dire Lorenzo il Magnifico. Anche Seneca ha dato alla mia vita il suo prezioso contributo: “Ignoranti quem portum petat nullus suus ventus est” (Lettere a Lucilio) ovvero “Non esiste vento favorevole per il marinaio che non sa a quale porto vuol approdare”. Più di un mantra, per me. Nella sostanza l’importante è avere le idee chiare e sapere cosa si vuole, da lì è tutto in discesa o, perlomeno, avremo compiuto il primo passo. Ho da sempre una passione per l’arte, pittura, scultura e fotografia espresse anche attraverso linguaggi molto diversificati, dal figurativismo di appannaggio propriamente tradizionale fino ad un lessico più astratto, a ricerche maggiormente concettuali. Scrivo di cultura, arte, cinema e viaggi, nell’ambito luxury travel e turismo enogastronomico. Sono appassionata di musica classica e jazz, con molteplici digressioni sul tema. Mi stanno molto a cuore le tematiche relative all’infanzia e all’educazione delle bambine. Amo i viaggi, anche quelli che non ho ancora fatto, la cioccolata fondente e la mia strepitosa torta di mele, ma, se devo essere sincera fino in fondo (ed ecco la nota del fashion editor che è in me), non posso vivere senza le scarpe di Manolo Blahnik, colui che più di ogni altro ha saputo amabilmente coniugare colore, seta e tacco 12.

EN

Growing up I always dreamt of becoming a journalist or studying quantum physics. I ended up graduating in Sociology and focused on the different kinds of leaderships through the enlightening works of William Shakespeare. However, I must have already had some level of clarity, as being a journalist is what I do and what I love doing. As artistic director, I have been the first woman to direct the Tepidarium del Roster at the Giardino dell’Orticoltura in Florence, the largest Liberty-style greenhouse in Italy and the smallest in Europe, built in 1859 by the Accademia dei Georgofili. I collaborate with art galleries and academies, schools, associations, museums, universities and foundations, mainly in Italy, China, the United States and Russia. In 2011, I was among the founders of the Acontemporaryart Association, of which I am now President; I curate and organize art shows by both Italian and foreign artists in Florence, Rome, Venice, Paris, etc. Since 2013, I am the editor-in-chief of the newspaper Florence is You, a bimonthly bilingual publication (Italian – English) with institutional partners from all over the world that counts 20.000 paper copiesper issue, as well as daily updates online (www.florenceisyou.com). In October 2017 I was elected Academic Honouree at the Academy of the Arts of Drawing in Florence, founded in 1563 by Giorgio Vasari, and of which Michelangelo was the first Academic. I always wanted an American typewriter, but not any ordinary one, I wanted an Underwood, which I received as a gift, greatly appreciated, from a former boyfriend, who is now more than a brother to me. My favourite motto? The Latin expression “per aspera ad astra,” but also the Medicean “Festina lente,” as said by Lorenzo the Magnificent. Seneca also gave his precious contribution to my life with his: “Ignoranti quem portum petat nullus suus ventus est” (Letters to Lucilius) or “If one does not know to which port one is sailing, no wind is favourable.” This is more than a mantra to me. Fundamentally, I believe that it’s important to have a clear mind as to what you want, then the rest is all downhill, or anyways it’s a first step. I’ve always had a passion for art, painting, sculpture and photography, expressed even through very different languages, from more traditional and figurative art to more abstract lexicons, or even conceptual researches. I write about culture, art, cinema and travel, in the fields of luxury travel and food and wine tourism. I’m passionate about classical and jazz music, with multiple digressions on the subject... Very close to my heart are issues relating to childhood and the education of little girls. I love to travel – even those trips I have yet to take – dark chocolate and my fabulous apple pie, although, if I must be entirely true (and here is the fashion editor in me), I cannot live without the shoes by Manolo Blahnik, he who more than anyone else has been able to amiably combine colour, silk and 12-inch heels.

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