Castelfranco a I Tatti

January 27, 2014
Castelfranco a I Tatti

On 27 January 2014, I Tatti will honor Giorgio Castelfranco

Two Presentations: the Castelfranco Archive online and the exhibition Castelfranco e Leonardo da Vinci 

A collaboration with the Museo Casa Rodolfo Siviero - Regione Toscana

Giorgio Castelfranco (Venice, 1896 – Rome, 1978), a prominent critic and art historian, is best known today for his scholarly work on his friend Giorgio de Chirico, and on Leonardo da Vinci. Between 1926 and 1966 he held various key positions in the Ministry of Fine Arts. For decades Castelfranco remained in close contact with Bernard Berenson through visits and correspondence. In May 1938, on the occasion of Hitler’s visit to Florence, Castelfranco was forced out of his position as director of the Galleria Palatina because he was Jewish. In November 1938, when the Racial Laws were promulgated in Italy, Castelfranco could no longer hold any government position. Although he sent his children to the United States, Castelfranco remained in Italy through the end of the war. He then returned to work in the Soprintendenza, where he worked closely with Rodolfo Siviero to recover works of art stolen by the Nazis.

In 1979, the year after the scholar's death, the Castelfranco Archive arrived at I Tatti: roughly 45 boxes of material about his professional activities, 15 boxes of photographs of works of art, and 200 photographic plates (including one for the drawing above). In the Gould Hall on January 27 2014 at 5:00pm, the I Tatti archivist Ilaria Della Monica will present an online finding aid to this material. She will then introduce an exhibition she curated on Castelfranco e Leonardo da Vinci, located in the Berenson Reading Room at I Tatti. This exhibition will include notes and publications by Castelfranco and photographs regarding Da Vinci. Please Note: Berenson Library exhibitions may be visited by registered library patrons only and are not open to the general public.

A second opening on January 25 at the Museo Casa Rodolfo Siviero, the former home of Giorgio Castelfanco, is also based on material from the Castelfranco Archive. This portion of the exhibition, curated by Francesca Guarducci and Emanuele Greco with the generous assistance of Attilio Tori, focuses on Castelfranco’s connections with Giorgio de Chirico and Alberto Savinio.

These events are part of the "Giorno della Memoria" established by the Italian Parliament in 2000 "in ricordo dello sterminio e delle persecuzioni del popolo ebraico e dei deportati militari e politici italiani nei campi nazisti," as well as the "International Holocaust Remembrance Day" established by the United Nations General Assembly in 2005. The date was selected to commemorate the liberation of the largest Nazi death camp, at Auschwitz-Birkenau, on January 27, 1945.