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Event Details

Wed, March 14, 2018

16:30 – 19:00

Villa La Pietra
Via Bolognese 120
50139 Firenze, Italia

The volume aims to reconstruct, through photographs and documents, the development of the Olivetti corporate identity from 1952 to 1979, as it was conveyed through various types of spaces for the exposition and description of its products: exhibitions, stores and its school. The display methods and the written, oral and visual forms of ‘storytelling’ that brought the instantly-recognizable Olivetti idiom international success come together here for the first time, from the little-known exposition Olivetti: Design in Industry, held from October to November 1952 at the Museum of Modern Art in New York, to the CISV, Centro Istruzione e Specializzazione Vendite (Center for Teaching Specializations of Olivetti Sales) (1954-1979), the first Italian school of marketing with a technical/humanistic focus, portrayed here through archival documentation and photographs by Paolo Monti and Gabriele Basilico. Photos by Aldo Ballo, Gianni Berengo Gardin, Erich Hartmann, Wayne Miller and Ugo Mulas document Olivetti showrooms and stores designed by Gae Aulenti, Ignazio Gardella, Leo Lionni, Carlo Scarpa and BBPR Studio, in major international metropolises (Buenos Aires, Chicago, Düsseldorf, New York, Paris, San Francisco, Venice, Vienna), as well as the traveling exposition Stile Olivetti (1961-1966) shown around the world in cities including Zurich, Nairobi and Hong Kong. The experimental exhibition Formes et Recherche (1969-1971), conceived by Gae Aulenti and depicted in photographs by Giorgio Colombo and Ugo Mulas, concludes this chapter in Olivetti’s history, a legacy of excellence that contributed much to building the identity of Italian industry.

The book will be available from March 15 in all bookshops or through the Quodlibet website in English and in Italian.

Featured Biographies

Caterina Toschi


Ph.D. in History of Contemporary Art and Junior Scholar at the Getty Research Institute, Caterina Toschi teaches contemporary art history at NYU Florence and at the University of Cassino and Southern Lazio. She is the co-founder of the cultural association Senzacornice, digital journal and research and education lab for contemporary art, and the scientific supervisor at The Santa Maddalena Foundation of Beatrice Monti della Corte’s collection and of the Galleria dell’Ariete’s photographic archive. Toschi is also the author of the book Dalla pagina alla parete. Tipografia futurista e fotomontaggio dada (FUP, Florence, 2017), and of many international publications and contributions on her research topics.