Florence, 17th November 2021. The Convention Vittoria Contini Bonacossi, Gio Ponti e un “capolavoro dell’arredamento italiano del Novecento” (Vittoria Contini Bonacossi, Gio Ponti and a “Masterpiece of Italian Furniture of 20th Century”) will open tomorrow at 16:00 inside the Sala Verde (Green Room), located on the second floor of the Villa. This event is promoted and organised by Firenze Fiera, the Uffizi Gallery, and the State Archives of Florence (in partnership with the Archives for Women’s Memory & Writing, the Contini Bonacossi-Papi family and the Association Città Nascosta), to celebrate the 150th anniversary of the birth of Vittoria Contini Bonacossi and the 130th anniversary of the birth of Gio Ponti, who designed the new furnishings at Villa Vittoria. Lorenzo Becattini, President of Firenze Fiera, will do the honours.Among the speakers, Eike Schmidt, Director of the Uffizi Gallery, Sabina Magrini, Director of the State Archives of Florence, Rosalia Manno Tolu, President of the Archives for Women’s Memory & Writing, Enrico Colle, Director of the Stibbert Museum, in addition to Lucia Mannini (Art Historian), Stefano Andrea Poli (Professor at the Polytechnic University of Milan), and Chiara Toti from the Uffizi Gallery.
Many topics will be discussed – “The Contini Bonacossi Collection within the Modern Context of the Uffizi”, “From Vittoria Contini Bonacossi’s Diary-Letters: Travel Impressions of a Woman and a Curious Collector”. Other topics include “Villa Vittoria: from Manor House of the Contini Bonacossi family to Cultural Centre”, “An Ancient Modernity. Gio Ponti at Villa Vittoria”, “Villa Vittoria and an ‘Extraordinary Collection of Works by Modern Italian Artists”, and “The Association Alessandra Contini Bonacossi for Women’s Memory and Writing”.
Participants in the convention will then be able to visit the exhibition set up inside the Sala della Limonaia and curated by Daniela Fattori from the State Archives of Florence. For the first time, this exhibition will show, along with some letters, 10 diaries (preserved inside the State Archives of Florence) written as letters between 1926 and 1933 by Vittoria to her family during her many trips to the United States, in New York City. There, she was hosted by the greatest collectors and philanthropists overseas, such as the Kress and Gardner families. For them, “she became an ambassador of the Italian style”, as highlighted by Sabina Magrini, Director of the State Archives of Florence. These are extraordinarily important documents, shedding light on the strong and charismatic personality of Vittoria and witnessing the progressive development of her collecting taste and ideals.
Saturday 20th and Sunday 21st, from 10:00 to 16:00, the programme will offer free guided tours of the Villa, in co-operation with the Association Città Nascosta. Tours will start from the Limonaia and will proceed to the Monumental Area, located on the ground, first and second floor of the Villa. (By reservation only – tel. +39 055 6802590).
On this occasion, visitors will be able to follow the reading of some excerpts taken from the diaries on show, performed by two actors from the Florence Theatre Academy I Sognambuli.
“For us, paying homage to Vittoria Contini Bonacossi and Gio Ponti is a real source of pride and satisfaction. They had the merit to embellish our spaces with charm, culture, and beauty – said Lorenzo Becattini, President of Firenze Fiera. “Our collaboration with the Uffizi Gallery, but also with the State Archives of Florence, the Archives for Women’s Memory & Writing, the Contini Bonacossi- Papi family, and the Association Città Nascosta, goes exactly into the direction taken by the new mission of the Company, which aims at increasing interaction with the city and its territory, promoting cultural events which guarantee the continuity of the historical memory of our prestigious venues”.
“Once again, the Uffizi Gallery goes beyond the museum concept – added Director Eike Schmidt –. These events to celebrate Gio Ponti and Vittoria Galli Contini give us the opportunity to focus the attention on a great woman from the past and on the Italian voice of design in the arts”.