‘Steve McCurry. Icons,’ photo exhibition at Villa Bardini

‘Steve McCurry. Icons,’ photo exhibition at Villa Bardini

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On view until September 16, Villa Bardini presents a retrospective dedicated to the artist Steve McCurry (Darby, Pensilvania, 1950), one of the great masters of contemporary and documentary photography. Curated by Biba Giacchetti, the exhibition entitled Steve McCurry. Icons displays more than a hundred photographs featuring the best works of the North American photographer produced during his extensive career spanning over forty years. The exhibition takes visitors on a symbolic journey through countries like India, Afghanistan, Burma, Japan, Cuba or Brazil across the complex universe full of experiences and emotions carried in McCurry’s images.
Steve McCurry. Icons – Villa Bardini – Costa San Giorgio 2, Florence (admission: 10 EUR)

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Uncommon Museums of Florence #1: Museum of Masonic Symbology

Uncommon Museums of Florence #1: Museum of Masonic Symbology

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Opened in March 2012, the Museum of Masonic Symbology was founded by Cristiano Franceschini in Florence as a private initiative with the aim to transmit to the brothers the evolution of different Masonic traditions over time. According to Franceschini, the museum is mostly visited by Brazilians, since there is a large number of Freemasons in that country. Moreover, for the broader secular public, the museum wants to make known the Masonic ideology, philosophy and ethics through the representation of symbols, on which these rituals are based. The collection on display includes ritual objects with etched, embroidered, applied, printed or engraved symbols. The first Italian masonic lodge, known as “The Lodge of the English-people” was created 1731 in Florence. The collection presented here comprehends more than ten thousand objects dated from the end of the eighteenth century and coming from around the world: dresses, aprons, belts, bottles, porcelain, pins, ties, stamps, photos, documents, books, glass slides or magic lanterns are part of the lot.
Museo di Simbologia Massonica – Via dell’Orto 7

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The synagogue of Florence, example of Jewish architecture for worship

The synagogue of Florence, example of Jewish architecture for worship

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Considered one of the best examples of Jewish architecture for worship, the Florentine synagogue, located in the heart of nineteenth-century Florence, is not only a building in which to profess one’s faith, but also a social and cultural centre. The temple was designed by the Piedmontese architect Marco Treves and opened in 1882. Today is still a place of prayer, but also of meeting and memory. The synagogue also houses the Jewish Museum of the Community of Florence, where great importance is given to the remembrance of the Holocaust and to the persecutions and sacrifices of the Florentine Jewish community. This building descends stylistically from the architectural eclecticism of the 19th century. The Moorish style predominates in conjunction with some Romanesque winks, typical of the Florentine tradition. The external decorative elements, as well as all in the interior, use coloured Venetian tiles to shape geometric ornaments.
Synagogue of Florence -Via Luigi Carlo Farini 4

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Uffizi Square of Florence: the sculptures of the Great Tuscans

Uffizi Square of Florence: the sculptures of the Great Tuscans

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The particular design of the Galleria degli Uffizi shapes sort of a square, around which the lodge runs. In the 28 niches that border it, Cosimo I de’ Medici wanted to place sculptures of distinguished Florentines in the field of literature, the military and the government. However, it was not until the nineteenth century, when the Grand Duchy of Tuscany was under the rule of the Lorraines, that the publisher Vincenzo Batelli finally resumed the creation of these statues. Among those illustrious Tuscan characters are Cosimo the Elder and Lorenzo the Magnificent, great representatives of the Medici family; also masters of art, such as Giotto, Donatello, Leonardo da Vinci and Michelangelo; great names of literature, such as Dante, Petrarca, Boccaccio and Machiavelli; and men of science or adventure like Galileo Galilei and Amerigo Vespucci. Overall, the place is a perfect panorama, especially ideal for a romantic walk at midnight, alone or not.

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Pontormo at Palazzo Pitti: from drawing to painting

Pontormo at Palazzo Pitti: from drawing to painting

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The exhibition Incontri miracolosi: Pontormo dal disegno alla pittura (Miraculous Encounters: Pontormo from drawing to painting) presents a series of works of outstanding importance, most of which are here displayed for the first time together. Thirty years after it was last here, the return visit to Florence of the Halberdier (1494- 1557) is the perfect occasion for an exhibition dedicated to Pontormo. This magnificent portrait by Pontormo, acquired by the Getty Museum of Los Angeles in 1989 for the then record-breaking sum of $32.5 million, now finds itself back in its home town of Florence. It’s the centre piece of the exhibition curated by Bruce Edelstein, which is now on show in the Sala delle Nicchie in Palazzo Pitti until 29th July 2018. Displayed along with the Halberdier, there is also the Portrait of a Young Man in a Red Cap, among other master pieces.

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Exhibition at Palazzo Strozzi: “Down of a Nation. From Guttuso to Fontana and Schifano”

Exhibition at Palazzo Strozzi: “Down of a Nation. From Guttuso to Fontana and Schifano”

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Until 22nd July 2018, Palazzo Strozzi is hosting the exhibition Dawn of a Nation. From Guttuso to Fontana and Schifano, a truly mesmerising exploration of art, politics and society in Italy from the 1950s to the protest years in the late ’60s, with eighty works of art by such masters as Renato Guttuso, Lucio Fontana, Alberto Burri, Emilio Vedova, Piero Manzoni, Mario Schifano, Mario Merz and Michelangelo Pistoletto. The exhibition, curated by Luca Massimo Barbero, illustrates the effervescence of Italian culture after World War II, the years of the so-called “economic miracle” that marked a major transformation in Italian society, up until the fateful year of 1968. The exhibition takes visitors on a journey setting out from the diatribe between Realism and Abstraction, continuing on to the triumph of Informal Art and leading through the images, gestures and figures of Pop Art in strident juxtaposition with the experimental vision of monochromatic painting, right up to the language of Arte Povera and of Conceptual Art.…

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Salvatore Ferragamo and twentieth-century visual culture

Salvatore Ferragamo and twentieth-century visual culture

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Salvatore Ferragamo returned to Italy in 1927 after twelve years in the United States. In 2017, to mark the ninetieth anniversary of his homecoming, the Museo Salvatore Ferragamo presented this exhibition offering an overview of the 1920s, a decade now recognized as an authentic forge of open-minded ideas and experimentation free of ideological constraints and prejudices. Ferragamo chose to settle in Florence in virtue of its acknowledged centrality in the geography of Italian taste and style at a time in which the word “return” was especially meaningful: the return to order in the arts, the return to professional skill and to the great national tradition. Developed in chapters like a coming-of-age story, the exhibition focuses precisely on this trend in the culture of the period. Curated by Carlo Sisi, it takes Ferragamo’s voyage on an ocean liner back to Italy as its guiding thread: a metaphor of his mental journey through the Italian visual culture of the 1920s, the source of the themes and works that were to influence his poetic vision directly or indirectly.
1927, il ritorno in Italia – Till May 2 at Museo Ferragamo, Palazzo Spini Feroni, Florence

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Cloisters of Florence: the great scape

Cloisters of Florence: the great scape

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Florence does not stand as a vulgar Renaissance theme park, but rather as an infinite source of beauty and art, an open-air museum in which emotions grow by every minute. As I walk through the cloisters of Santa Maria Novella, San Lorenzo, San Marcos, Santa Croce or Santo Spirito, peace and solitude seem very tangible to me. However, what most hypnotizes me is rather more radical. In these religious courtyards, with their gallery portrayed on all four sides, it is easy to feel as if you had left this world, not minding at all how to return, while you are busy imagining your next sins and who will be part of them.…

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“Radical Utopias”: exhibition at Strozzina-Palazzo Strozzi

“Radical Utopias”: exhibition at Strozzina-Palazzo Strozzi

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An experimental approach totally unrelated to the legacy of earlier modernist trends, but closely related to the renewal taking place in other areas of art, began to spread to architecture in Europe in the early 1960s. For the very first time the exhibition “Radical Utopias” celebrates the outstanding creative season enjoyed by the radical movement in Florence in the 60s and 70s. The exhibition brings together in a single venue the visionary work of such groups and figures as 9999, Archizoon, Remo Buti, Gianni Pettena, Superstudio, UFO and Zziggurat. A kaleidoscopic dialogue between objects of design, videos, installations, performances and narratives illustrating another possible world: a critical utopia that had the merit of smashing the status quo of the period, turning Florence into the focal point of a revolution in thinking that had a deep impact on the development of art at the global level.
Until January 21, 2018, at Strozzina-Palazzo Strozzi

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Il Cinquecento in Florence at Palazzo Strozzi

Il Cinquecento in Florence at Palazzo Strozzi

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Till January 21, 2018, Palazzo Strozzi is celebrating the art of the 16th century in Florence, an era of outstanding cultural and intellectual talent that was to spawn a heated debate between the “modern manner” and the Counter-Reformation, between the art patronage of the Medici and the Church. Curated by Carlo Falciano and Antonio Natali, the exhibition showcases over seventy works of painting and sculpture, seventeen of which have been restored for the occasion, and hosts pieces by Andrea del Sarto, Michelangelo, Pontormo, Rosso Fiorentino, Bronzino, Vasari, Jacopo Zucchi and Giambologna, to name but a few of those involved in the commissions for the Studio of Francesco I de’ Medici in Palazzo Vecchio and the Tribune of the Uffizi.
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