When the Past was Present: an early representation of the deportation of the Jews of Rome


February 01, 2023, 05:30 PM - 07:30 PM

General Admission Ticket: $5; Members & Students: Free


Ruth Ben Ghiat (New York University), Alexander Stille (Columbia University), Raffaele Bedarida (Cooper Union), and Natalia Indrimi (Centro Primo Levi NY) will present a rare 1948 film and propose some hypotheses on its history and production.

In conjunction with the activities organized by the Italian Consulate for the International Holocaust Remembrance Day (Giorno della Memoria), this distinguished group of scholars will discuss a little-known 1948 short film, one of the earliest public recollections of the deportation of the Jews of Rome, the exile, and the birth of the State of Israel. A particular set of circumstances makes the film intriguingly enigmatic. It was directed by Romolo Marcellini, a star of colonial cinema who, after the war, found his way into the film industry promoted by the American Office of Strategic Services and aimed at portraying the rebirth of a nation. The script is by Luigi Barzini Jr., scion of a prominent family that loomed large in the Italian press since the Belle Epoque. Barzini Jr. graduated from Columbia University at a time when the institution’s leadership flirted with the Regime. He went on to be the correspondent of Corriere della Sera in Fascist Italy. His father, Luigi Barzini Sr., was a senator and remained on Mussolini’s side during the Italian Social Republic becoming director of Italy’s leading press agency, Agenzia Stefani. After the war, Luigi Barzini Jr., with clearance from the Allied authorities, founded the press agency Libera Stampa and continued his career as a screenwriter and one of the editors of the prestigious media group La Settimana Incom. 

The context that originated this film is unknown. Undoubtedly someone guided the director and the writer through the recent memories of Roman Jews. Someone who knew well not only the story and the wounds, but the streets, the places, and the religious rituals. Someone who helped mediate between the small Italian Jewish world brutally betrayed by its own country and a new republic that reluctantly had to come to terms with the sight of its recent past. 

This event is organized in collaboration with Centro Primo Levi, New York.

To view the full program of activities commemorating Il Giorno della Memoria, click here (or access the pdf version here).


Closing event: Bruno Munari and Experimental Music


January 14, 2023, 06:00 PM

General Admission Ticket: $15; Members & Students: Free


Join us for a talk and musical listening on Saturday, January 14 at 6pm at CIMA.

Along with his multifaceted accomplishments in the fields of painting, sculpture, graphic design and children’s literature, Bruno Munari also developed a deep relationship with the world of experimental music. In this event, music historian and composer Luciano Chessa will guide us through the listening and understanding of the ways in which Munari’s work intersected with the music of Luciano Berio, John Cage, Toru Takemitsu and Alexander Scriabin.

Luciano Chessa is a composer, conductor, performance artist, pianist, and music historian specializing in 20th-century Italian and 21st-century American repertoire. His compositions include the experimental opera Cena oltranzista nel castelletto al lago—a work of over 55 hours of fasting that was entirely live-streamed—and A Heavenly Act, an opera commissioned by the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, with original video by Kalup Linzy. In New York alone, Chessa has been commissioned multiple times by the Performa Biennial, and in 2014 he presented three concerts at the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum as part of the exhibition Italian Futurism, 1909-1944: Reconstructing the Universe. Chessa is the author of Luigi Russolo Futurist. Noise, Visual Arts, and the Occult (2012), the first monograph dedicated to Russolo and his “Art of Noise.” In 2009, his Orchestra of Futurist Noise Intoners (OFNI) was hailed by the New York Times as one of the best events in the arts; it continues to tour internationally.

The Sonus faber Il Cremonese speakers will deliver a superb listening experience of the work of these experimental music composers. Many thanks to our friends at Sonus faber for sponsoring the Munari exhibition and supporting us in this final event.

Public Programming at CIMA is made possible with the generous support of Tiro a Segno Foundation.


Bruno Munari Study Day


December 09, 2022, 10:00 AM - 06:30 PM


Keynote speaker: Prof. Pierpaolo Antonello, Cambridge University

The exhibition Bruno Munari: The Child Within, curated by Steven Guarnaccia and on view in New York at the Center for Italian Modern Art (CIMA) from October 6, 2022 to January 14, 2023, focuses on Munari’s illustrated children’s books. These books expressed, in an accessible form, Munari’s wide-ranging ideas about the possibilities that art offered to communicate visually. Together with artworks, design objects, photographs and toys, the exhibition provides countless perspectives through which to examine Munari’s approach to art, design, and pedagogy.

With this Bruno Munari Study Day, CIMA’s Research Fellows join prominent scholars from diverse fields—including History of Art and Architecture, Italian Studies, History of Design, Education, Children’s Literature—to investigate the themes at the center of the exhibition within and outside of established critical frameworks.

The conference will take place in person at the Center for Italian Modern Art. Besides the keynote address and two scholarly panels, a group of designers and design historians will also gather for a special roundtable session dedicated to a direct analysis of some of the books and objects in the exhibition, a “return to primary sources” that will provide a firsthand opportunity to inspect the innovations at play in Munari’s work.

Conference Program

10AM: Conference registration and viewing of the exhibition Bruno Munari: The Child Within, curated by Steven Guarnaccia.

11AM: Panel 1 – Bruno Munari and the Visual Arts

Maria Antonella Pelizzari (Hunter College and CUNY Graduate Center), “CONFABULATIONS: Munari’s Photographic Alphabet”

David Reinfurt (Princeton University), “… meet the Tetracono”

Luca Zaffarano (curator and independent scholar), “Travelling with Bruno Munari”

Giulia Zompa (CIMA Research Fellow), “The American Munari between Art, Publishing, and Design”

Followed by discussion

12:30-1:30PM: Lunch Break

1:30PM: Panel 2 – In Munari’s Words: Education, Design and Publishing

Margaret Scarborough (CIMA Resarch Fellow), “The Cages of Bruno Munari: Fantasies of Freedom and Constraint”

Nicola Lucchi (Center for Italian Modern Art), “Bruno Munari, or the Art of the Side Gig”

Paloma Diaz-Dickson (illustrator, Maryland Institute College of Art), “Redefining Children’s Books One Page at a Time: The Work of Bruno Munari and Květa Pacovská”

Followed by discussion

3PM: Panel 3: Roundtable discussion on Munari’s select books and games

Moderator: Kimberlie Birks (independent scholar, design writer)

Discussants: Nicola Cipani (New York University), Paloma Diaz-Dickson (illustrator, Maryland Institute College of Art), Isabel Roxas (storyteller and graphic artist)

5:30PM Keynote address

Pierpaolo Antonello (Cambridge University), “Open Works: Bruno Munari’s Interactive Design in an Analog World”



Public programming at CIMA is made possible with the generous support of Tiro a Segno Foundation



Forming Citizens for a New Era: Soviet Children’s Books and their Reception in Europe


December 06, 2022, 06:00 PM - 07:00 PM

General Admission Ticket: $15; Members & Students: Free


This talk will examine the radically innovative design of children’s books that developed in the fledgling Soviet state between 1918 and 1932. Integrating text and image, these books portrayed the life of ordinary people in a dynamic modernist graphic language that sought to inspire young minds to take an active part in building a new society. Starting in the 1920s, Soviet children’s books were regularly shown in Europe, inspiring many innovative artists, including Bruno Munari.

Masha Chlenova, PhD, is an art historian and curator based in New York City. She held curatorial positions at the Guggenheim Museum, The Museum of Modern Art, and Stedelijk Museum Amsterdam. She has published widely on Soviet and European avant-garde, including in the journal October, in edited books, and in exhibition catalogs published by the Guggenheim Museum, MoMA, Tate Modern, Royal Academy of Arts, Centre Pompidou and Muzeum Sztuki. Among the exhibitions she organized in New York was Russian Revolution: A Contested Legacy, held at the International Print Center NY in 2017. Most recently she curated a major exhibition entitled Encounters: Russian and Soviet Art Across the Borders, 1910-1990 for the Muchmuseet in Oslo. Scheduled to open in February 2023, this exhibition became unthinkable following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. Chlenova teaches art history at Eugene Lang College of Liberal Arts at The New School.

Public Programming at CIMA is made possible with the generous support of Tiro a Segno Foundation.


Intern Night at CIMA


December 02, 2022, 05:00 PM - 07:00 PM

General Admission: Always free to Students 


Calling all interns of artistic and cultural institutions in New York City!

Join us at CIMA for a special FREE evening event to meet fellow interns in the art and art history world in the five boroughs.

5:00 – 5:30 pm: Refreshments, conversation and music.

5:30pm: Guided tour of CIMA’s exhibition, Bruno Munari: The Child Within

This is an in-person event. Mask wearing is recommended.

Limited capacity. Reserve your free ticket now!


‘Anna Mahler: Notes on Stone’; ‘About Sol’; ‘Mahler & LeWitt Studios’: three documentaries, a U.S. premiere


December 01, 2022, 06:00 PM - 07:30 PM

General Admission Ticket: $15; Members & Students: Free


Join us for the US premiere of three recently commissioned documentaries exploring the lives of Anna Mahler and Sol LeWitt, as well as the artist residency program their work has inspired in Spoleto, Italy, at the Mahler & LeWitt Studios.

Introduced by CIMA director Nicola Lucchi, guests are also invited to visit the current CIMA exhibition ‘Bruno Munari: The Child Within’.

Light refreshments will be served!

Anna Mahler: Notes on Stone (23mins), narrated by her daughter Marina Mahler, is the first documentary to closely consider the life and work of stone sculptor Anna Mahler, daughter of Gustav and Alma. Before reaching Spoleto, where she would live and work from the late 1960s, the film evokes the unique cultural milieu in which she grew up – among her mentors were Oskar Kokoshka and Giorgio de Chirico. The film then follows Anna from war torn Vienna, to London and Los Angeles, where she taught at UCLA and made her most monumental work ‘The Tower of Masks’.

About Sol (23 mins) is an intimate portrait of Sol LeWitt, documenting his life and work with a particular focus on the time he spent in Spoleto. It centers on an interview with his wife Carol, who shares a string of intimate memories beginning with their departure from New York, to a new family life in Spoleto. It explores Sol’s work through his friendships with the artists and people of the town. Conversations with Adam Weinberg (Director, Whitney Museum of American Art) and Marco Tonelli (Director, Palazzo Collicola Arti Visive) explain the relevance of the great Italian painters to LeWitt’s practice – Giotto, Piero della Francesca, frà Filippo Lippi – artists who at first sight seem distant from conceptual art and minimalism.

Mahler & LeWitt Studios (12 mins) is a short film with Guy Robertson (curator and founding director, with Eva LeWitt) telling the story of the program of residencies and special projects which take place each year, for five months, around the former studios of Anna Mahler and Sol LeWitt in Spoleto. The program welcomes and provides opportunities for curators, writers and artists of all disciplines, from across the world. In Spoleto they find an ideal space to reflect and create new work.

The production of the documentary films stems from the desire of Maria Teresa Venturini Fendi, President of the Carla Fendi Foundation, to make a contribution to the important activity of the Mahler & LeWitt Studios. The films are intended to give context to the lives and work of Anna Mahler and Sol LeWitt in Spoleto, sharing their stories with new audiences, and to celebrate the significant opportunities, offered in their names, to a new generation of artists, writers and curators.

The Carla Fendi Foundation promotes and creates artistic events, restorations, social projects, science and research. Since forming in 2007, the Foundation has collaborated with the Festival dei Due Mondi, Spoleto, becoming its Main Partner in 2012. Among its projects in Spoleto, the Foundation organises the annual Premio Carla Fendi – in 2021 Marina Mahler and Carol LeWitt were recipients of the prize for their services to culture in Spoleto. They donated their prize money to the Mahler & LeWitt Studios and it will fund a series of cultural collaborations between the Carla Fendi Foundation and the studios. fondazionecarlafendi.it

Gabriele Gianni (b.1978) is an Italian director and artist. For the Carla Fendi Foundation he has also created: A Sense of Wonder, about the life of the British scientist Stephen Hawking, and Ecce Robot, on artificial intelligence, robotics, and the thinking of British scientist Alan Turing. He is co-director, with Davide Barletti, of Nothing Wrong, about the search for the meaning of Time through the stories and  eyes of three hundred children during the year of the pandemic. The film was screened at Biografilm 22, and at Annecy Cinéma Italien. In 2022 he created Reality? an augmented reality installation located in the renaissance church of Santa Maria della Manna d’Oro in Spoleto, Italy. Produced by Carla Fendi Foundation, it investigates illusory space in consciousness. gabrielegianni.com

Public Programming at CIMA is made possible with the generous support of Tiro a Segno Foundation.


A gala honoring Micky Wolfson, Jr.


November 29, 2022, 07:00 PM - 10:00 PM



Mitchell (Micky) Wolfson, Jr.


Mattioli Residence: 421 Broome Street, NYC



Join us in honoring Mitchell (Micky) Wolfson, Jr., steadfast friend to CIMA and esteemed collector and founder of The Wolfsonian-FIU and the Wolfsoniana, iconic museums in Miami Beach, Florida and Genova Nervi, Italy. Micky’s unparalleled perspective challenges assumptions, pushes disciplinary boundaries, and deepens appreciation of modern art and objects. Help us salute his eye for innovation and toast his generosity of spirit.

Our tribute to Micky will provide vital fuel for CIMA’s International Fellowship Program, which grants extended study opportunities at CIMA for promising international students at pivotal moments in their academic ascent. Join us for a night illuminating the beauty of Italian modern art that advances understanding and forges friendships across countries and generations.

Please find the reservation form HERE!

For more information and to RSVP, please email Mary Keating at keating@italianmodernart.org


Italian Divisionism: Gazes and Perspectives. A presentation and book signing with author Annie-Paule Quinsac


November 22, 2022, 06:00 PM - 07:00 PM

General Admission: $10; Members and Students: Free


In this in person event, professor Annie-Paule Quinsac will present her recently-published book, Divisionismo Italiano. Sguardi e prospettive 1880-1920 (Massetti Rodella Editori, 2022). The work is a revisitation of her seminal thesis “La peinture divisionniste italienne. Origines et premiers développements 1880-1895“, discussed at the Sorbonne in 1968 and published in 1972.

Using a transversal approach, Quinsac analyses the sociopolitical, historical, and ideological context that characterized Italian divisionism, from Segantini’s Avemaria a trasbordo (1886, the first Divisionist work), through the Symbolism of the 1890s, and up to the Futurist revolution, underscoring the ever-changing interpretations of critics through the present.

Artists considered: Georges Seurat, Paul Signac, Vittore Grubicy de Dragon, Giovanni Segantini, Jean François Millet, Gaetano Previati, Angelo Morbelli, Plinio Nomellini, Giuseppe Pellizza da Volpedo, Emilio Longoni, Attilio Pusterla, Carlo Fornara; Ernest Meissonier, Jules Breton, Alfred Roll, Jules Adler; Umberto Boccioni, Carlo Carrà, Luigi Russolo, Giacomo Balla, Gino Severini (and others merely used for the sake of comparison).

Copies of the book will be available for purchase.

Light refreshments will be served.


Annie-Paule Quinsac is Professor Emerita at University of South Carolina and an art critic. She received her Ph.D. from the Sorbonne, and taught the history of 19th-century art for 25 years. She is a leading scholar on the oeuvre of Giovanni Segantini, having published a catalogue raisonné of the artist (Electa, 1982, 2014-15) and a critical edition of his correspondence (Cattaneo Editore, 1985). She has curated many exhibitions, both in Italy and abroad, including Segantini. Il ritorno a Milano  (Palazzo Reale, Milan; 2014-15)

Public Programming at CIMA is made possible with the generous support of Tiro a Segno Foundation.


Arte Programmata: Freedom, Control, and the Computer in 1960s Italy. A book presentation with author Lindsay Caplan


November 18, 2022, 06:00 PM - 07:00 PM

General Admission Ticket: $15; Members & Students: Free


In conjunction with our current exhibition Bruno Munari: The Child Within, CIMA is hosting a talk by Prof. Lindsay Caplan about her recently published book, Arte Programmata: Freedom, Control, and the Computer in 1960s Italy.

In her book, Lindsay Caplan explores how in postwar Italy, a group of visionary artists— Bruno Munari among them — used emergent computer technologies as both tools of artistic production and a means to reconceptualize the dynamic interrelation between individual freedom and collectivity. Arte Programmata traces the multifaceted practices of these groundbreaking artists and their conviction that technology could provide the conditions for a liberated social life.

Prof. Caplan will be in conversation with CIMA Fellows Margaret Scarborough and Giulia Zompa.

Light refreshments will be served.

Copies fo the book will be available for purchase at a reduced price.

Lindsay Caplan is Assistant Professor of Modern and Contemporary Art at Brown University. Before joining Brown, she taught at the Rhode Island School of Design, Eugene Lang College, School of Visual Arts, Parsons, City University of New York, and the Brooklyn Institute for Social Research. She has received fellowships from The Center of the Humanities at The CUNY Graduate Center (2010-14) and the American Council for Learned Societies (2015-16). From 2010 to 2011, she was a Critical Studies participant in the Whitney Museum Independent Study Program. Her writing has appeared in journals such as Grey Room, ARTMargins, e-flux, The Scholar and Feminist Online, and Art in America, as well as edited collections and exhibition catalogues. Her book Arte Programmata: Freedom, Control, and the Computer in 1960s Italy received a Millard Meiss Publication Grant from the College Art Association and was recently published by the University of Minnesota Press (October 2022).

Public Programming at CIMA is made possible with the generous support of Tiro a Segno Foundation.


The Picture Book Reimagined: Bruno Munari and His Creative Legacy


November 15, 2022, 06:00 PM - 07:00 PM

General Admission Ticket: $15; Members & Students: Free



Bruno Munari propelled the children’s picture book in startling new directions, introducing sculptural and toy-like elements to the printed page designed to unleash a child’s imagination as never before. In this illustrated talk offered in conjunction with the exhibition Bruno Munari: The Child Within, historian Leonard S. Marcus will trace the world-wide impact of this beguiling innovator’s ground-breaking books on the work of picture book artists Leo Lionni, Eric Carle, Květa Pacovská, David A. Carter, Katsumi Komagata, and others.

Leonard S. Marcus is the world’s preeminent writer on children’s books and the people who make them. He is the author of award-winning biographies, histories, and studies including Margaret Wise Brown: Awakened by the Moon; Dear Genius: The Letters of Ursula Nordstrom; Helen Oxenbury: A Life in Illustration; Randolph Caldecott: The Man Who Could Not Stop Drawing; The Annotated Phantom Tollbooth; You Can’t Say That!, an in-depth look censorship and the literature for young people; and (forthcoming) Pictured Worlds, an international history of the illustrated children’s book. Leonard is a founding trustee of the Eric Carle Museum of Picture Book Art and was the curator of the New York Public Library’s landmark exhibition The ABC of It: Why Children’s Books Matter. A frequent contributor to the New York Times Book Review, he teaches at the School of Visual Arts and lectures about his work across the world.

Public Programming at CIMA is made possible with the generous support of Tiro a Segno Foundation.