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The Making of Contemporary Italy. Art and Design in the 1960s

Department of European Languages and Cultures – DELC Research Seminar Series 2019-2020


Workshop | 50 George Square, Project Room, Monday 4 November, 10:00am-12:00pm

Italian Art and Design in the 1960s: Visual Narratives of the Italian Economic Boom

Introduction: Alessandra Pellegrini de Luca (PhD Candidate, DELC)

Workshop Leader: Professor Giuliana Pieri (RHUL)

Join us to explore Italy in the early 1960s, the period known as the economic miracle. In this workshop we will explore the way Italy’s intense modernisation was perceived at home and abroad by focusing on the interconnection between art, fashion and design. This is an interactive workshop in which we will co-create a pop-up exhibition using both material that was exhibited in London in 2019 (Estorick Collection of Modern Italian Art) as well as new material that you will bring in.



Roundtable Seminar | Edinburgh College of Art, West Court, Monday 4 November, 3:00-5:00pm

The Making of Modern Italy: Through the Looking Glass (Darkly)

Speaker: Professor Giuliana Pieri (RHUL)

Respondents: Dr Peter Clericuzio (ECA), Professor Marion Schmid (DELC), Tommaso Zerbi (PhD Candidate, ECA)

In the early 1960s, Italy exploded on the international stage, shedding the old image of the beautiful land with a glorious past but a lacklustre present. The new Italy was thoroughly modern: its economy was growing at an extraordinary rate; Italian architects, designers, film-makers, and artists were feted; and the world seemed to fall under the spell of Italy. The standard bearers of Italy’s extraordinary economic and cultural renewal reveal the importance assigned at home and abroad to the close interplay of art, literature, theatre, fashion, and design as the key (inter)players of a new Italian interartistic culture.

This seminar will explore the tension between the idea of Italian modernity reflected in the North American looking glass and the image in the mirror held up to Italian society at the time by the Italians themselves.


Free entrance 


  • Organizzato da: Department of European Languages and Cultures
  • In collaborazione con: Italian Institute of Culture