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“I seem to see a parallel between the film industry and my own. Just as the motion picture industry has grown and developed from those fledgling days, so too, I hope, has mine.”

During his time spent at Santa Barbara, California from 1915 to 1927, Salvatore Ferragamo had witnessed the rapid expansion of film and its amalgamation of Italian elements. His own work reflected its course, from his partnership with famous directors of that era like D.W. Griffith and Cecil B. DeMille; to the opening of Ferragamo’s store – the Hollywood Boot Shop, where stars like Mary Pickford, Pola Negri, Charlie Chaplin, Joan Crawford and Rudolph Valentino were regulars.

It was the combination of film, art, culture and his contributions then, that inspired the upcoming exhibition at Museo Salvatore Ferragamo in Florence: Italy in Hollywood.

“I seem to see a parallel between the film industry and my own. Just as the motion picture industry has grown and developed from those fledgling days, so too, I hope, has mine.”

Curated by Giuliana Muscio and Stefania Ricci, the exhibition is based on the renowned designer’s biography and explores the main theme of Italian migration to California and the influence of the bel paese’s myths and culture on the state.

Centred around the world of art, artisans, and entertainment – fields in which Ferragamo himself had expressed his creativity, the exhibition presents them like a plot of a film. Scenographer Maurizio Balo designed the exhibition in such a way that makes visitors feel as if they were on a film set, drawing inspiration from American film studios of the Roaring Twenties.

Also integral to the exhibition is the Two Young Italians in Hollywood project organised by Lo Schermo dell’Arte Film Festival, in which two Los-Angeles based Italian artists, Manfredi Gioacchini and Yuri Ancarani contribute a series of photographs and a video installation focusing on the theme.

At the end of the exhibition, there will be a room devoted entirely to the designer imitating the Hollywood Boot Shop opened in 1923, with a video installation of Hollywood in the Twenties.

 

Catch the exhibition at Museo Salvatore Ferragamo, Palazzo Spini Feroni, Florence from 24 May 2018 to 10 March 2019.

Images: Courtesy of Salvatore Ferragamo

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