150 YEARS OF ITALIAN GENIUS
Show in New York to celebrate the 150th anniversary of the Unification of Italy
Americans have always been fascinated by Italians. Throughout history, Italians have made headlines in the United States from the historic trials of Sacco and Vanzetti to the the musical legacies of Caruso, Pavarotti, Verdi and Vivaldi to the timeless masterpieces of Michaelangelo, da Vinci, Raffaello and Botticelli to the cinematic legends like Fellini, De Sica, Loren, Magnani and Mastroianni to the science of Galilei to the impact of the Vatican on our own Roman Catholic churches to the controversy that Christopher Columbus still stirs up to this day. Quite simply, Americans are always talking about Italians and living everyday with their contributions to the world.
Speaking on behalf of my fellow Italian Americans, I can say that there is something within our souls, a strong passion for the land and traditions of our origins that we feel sets us apart from the others. With this theme of pride in mind, an exhibition is currently on display in New York City that recognizes the accomplishments and the contributions that Italians have made to the world. To celebrate the 150th anniversary of Italian Unification, the Italian Cultural Institute of New York is presenting the exhibition, “150 Anni di Genio Italiano- Innovazioni che Cambiano il Mondo”, a collection of modern artifacts, films and information that goes beyond the art, literature and scientific discoveries that Italians are known for, uniquely acknowledging the ways in which we are influenced by Italians on a daily basis.
Chimera Poppi, the curator and organizer of the exhibition explains, "The exhibition is divided into five categories: "Experiencing the New", "Traveling for Knowledge", "Crossing the Frontiers", "Efficiency at Work", and "To Cure is to Live". The category that is most abstract is "Crossing the Frontiers", where we have placed the physicists and mathematicians, the people that in a different or abstract, way tried to surpass the limits of the unknown.” Each category has on display its own collection of objects that are arranged by theme.
For example, in the category of "Experiencing the New" you will find items from the laboratory of Italian Chemist and Nobel Prize winner, Giulio Natta, who is credited for inventing Moplen, a resistant type of plastic that was used to make kitchen equipment. Also in this category is the inventor, Antonio Meucci, who is best known for developing a voice communication device, which many credit as the first telephone. In each of the exhibition rooms, there are screens, which are connected to i-Pads, allowing the visitors to search through films and other materials.
“The category, 'Efficiency at Work' houses the machines and inventions that have facilitated the way we work and have improved productivity in general. Here you will find exponents such as microprocessors, another invention of an Italian, Federico Faggin. In this room one can watch a short film that shows how the work in the factory of FIAT has changed from the 1930’s to the present with the invention of machines and robots,” explains Ms. Poppi.
"150 Anni di Genio Italiano- Innovazioni che Cambiano il Mondo” is currently on display at the Italian Institute of Culture, an office of the Italian government, which is dedicated to promoting Italian language and culture in the United States. The office is located at 686 Park Avenue in New York City. The exhibition opened on 15 December and will remain open to the public until 27 January. For more information, please visit the website of the Italian Institute of Culture at www.iicnewyork.esteri.it.(di Jeannine Guilyard - del 2012-01-15)
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