The Birth of Rome
The Birth of Rome presents modern architectural and urban planning projects that cultivated the perception of a storied Italian nation rooted in a mythologized past. On display for the first time, artist Ferruccio Ferrazzi’s colossal study for the mosaic The Myth of Rome will serve as an anchor for a series of focus studies that document the alliance between art, architecture, and ideology in Italy under Benito Mussolini. Ferrazzi designed the mosaic in 1938 as a government commission for one of the buildings surrounding the recently excavated Mausoleum of Augustus. The display will also include a selection of studies for additional mosaics designed by Ferrazzi as part of the overall The Myth of Rome installation in the Piazza Augusto Imperatore.
This visualizing of national origins through The Myth of Rome will be complemented by four focus studies of additional building projects carried out during the Fascist regime: the Foro Mussolini (now the Foro Italico), a sports complex modeled after the Roman forums of the Imperial age; the E U R, a new district in the Italian capital planned for the never-realized 1942 International Exhibition that would celebrate the twentieth anniversary of the regime; Virgilio Marchi’s drawings for a Futurist Rome; and the Italian Pavilion at the 1939 New York World’s Fair.
The exhibition will be accompanied by a publication, the first in a new series exploring The Wolfsonian’s collection.
The Birth of Rome is part of Rebirth of Rome, a series of exhibitions highlighting Italian art and design from the interwar period. Rebirth of Rome is made possible by the Italian Consulate General Miami, the Italian Cultural Institute New York, the United States Consular Agency Genoa, and the Wolfsoniana–Fondazione Regionale per la Cultura e lo Spettacolo in Genoa, to mark the Year of Italian Culture in the United States. Additional support from Gucci, Mediterranean Shipping Company S.A., the Poltrona Frau Group Miami, the Funding Arts Network, the Leon Levy Foundation, Aprile SpA, and Ansaldo Energy Inc. We would also like to thank Mitchell Wolfson, Jr., Marcello Cambi in Genoa, and the Wolfsoniana–FRCS for their generous loans to the project.
Click here to download the press release.