Subscribe via RSS Feed Connect with me on Flickr Connect with me on Anobii Connect with me on YouTube
ita | eng


Festival of the Book and of Art History

11th edition

Palazzo di Re Enzo e del Podestà
18-21 September 2014

A whole new edition of Artelibro will be held in Bologna from the 18th to the 21st of September 2014. On the occasion of its 11th edition the Festival has renewed its formula and it is expanding to become an even more ambitious Festival of the Book and of Art History. This year the Festival will particularly concentrate on the great theme of the Italian cultural and artistic heritage, while preserving what has been achieved over its first ten years and continuing to maintain its original mission, starting from the books and the teaching of art history. The partnership with the Festival de l’Histoire de l’Art of Fontainebleau, which is a directly associated with the French Ministry of Culture and the Institut National de l’Histoire de l’Art, which in just three years has established itself as a European reference point for the study of art, will give Artelibro added relevance not only nationally but also on a European level. Artelibro has also been included in the calendar of cultural events due to be held during the six-month Italian Presidency of the European Union.

This year’s theme is ITALY: LAND OF TREASURES, a title which refers to the desire to “rediscover” the artistic and cultural wonders of our country, as well as the need to preserve and foster a unique and incomparable heritage. Opening the Festival the lectio magistralis keynote address by Andrea Carandini, the president of the FAI – Italian Environment Fund, entitled Italy, treasure of lands and minds, to be recreated will deal with these issues.

This year, as in the previous editions of the Festival, Artelibro will emerge from the hallowed corridors of Bologna’s Palazzo di Re Enzo e del Podestà to ‘invade’ the city, bringing it to life by helping its citizens and many visitors to learn more about its extraordinary attractions. In order to make this a success, various collaborations with a number of public and private institutions of the city will be vital. These will include various associations of libraries and museums of Bologna (Biblioteche di Bologna, Istituzione Bologna Musei) and the Film Foundation of Bologna (Fondazione Cineteca di Bologna), which will provide locations and promote initiatives, making the events proposed by Artelibro even more varied and giving them even more publicity and attention within the wider context of the city.

This edition of the Festival will also offer an opportunity to celebrate the anniversaries of the following important figures in the history of art: Michelangelo, Donato Bramante, Giorgio Morandi and Francesco Arcangeli. As usual the cultural program will consist of exhibitions, film screenings, expert seminars and professional meetings, presentations of books and projects, conferences and lectures for the general public, workshops and activities for the young. It will be divided into several sections and the various exhibitions and displays will be coordinated by the architect Cesare Mari. This year, among its many collaborations, Artelibro can proudly announce media-partnerships with the daily newspaper Il Resto del Carlino, the Italian radio channel Rai Radio3 and the free press magazine Zero.


The partnership that Artelibro has established with the Festival de l’Histoire de l’Art of Fontainebleau will be celebrated with a series of events. The first of these will involve the participation of the president of the Institut National pour l’Histoire de l’Art (INHA) Antoinette Le Normand-Romain in addition to that of the director of the Festival of Fontainebleau, Florence Buttay. Antoinette Le Normand-Romain will give a lecture on Jacques Doucet, the great collector who lived at the turn of the century and whose immense library of art books formed the core of the library of the INHA when it was founded. There will also be a series of lectures entitled Dear cousins. Art exchanges between Italy and France held by Cristina Acidini, Anna Ottani Cavina, Marta Morazzoni and the journalist Stefano Zuffi, who will be acting as the supervisor of the lecture cycle.


These Italian-French lessons will inaugurate an important section of Artelibro dedicated to the teaching of art history. Particular attention will be given to a great exponent of this subject of study, the late Francesco Arcangeli, whose important legacy will be considered by the art critic and curator Claudio Spadoni, while Giorgio Cricco and Francesco Paolo Di Teodoro will have an open conversation about the changes that their widely used manual Itinerario nell’arte (Itinerary in Art) has undergone over the years. In collaboration with Casa Carducci (a cultural institute in Bologna dedicated to the poet Giosuè Carducci) the Gramsci Emilia-Romagna Foundation will promote a meeting dedicated to the First National Exhibition of Contemporary Art, held in Bologna in 1948. This event aroused some bitter criticism from Palmiro Togliatti, the leader of the Italian Communist Party, and nourished the lively debate of the time regarding the relative merits of Realism and Abstraction.


Together with the Educational Services Department of the association of Museums of Bologna and the teaching departments of various other art museums in Italy, Artelibro will create a programme of workshop activities and guided tours so as to introduce children, young people and families to the subject of art history. The Mediateca di San Lazzaro media library will organize Coloring, an exhibition and a workshop dedicated to colouring books, while the Jewish Museum (Museo Ebraico) of Bologna, dedicated to Jewish history and culture, will celebrate the holiday of Purim, which is particularly attractive for children, with a workshop to describe the deliverance of the Jewish people from genocide in the ancient Persian Empire, as narrated in the traditional small scroll known as the Megillah. The Giannino Stoppani Children’s Bookshop and Cultural Cooperative and the Drosselmeier Academy will propose a programme of exhibitions, training sessions, presentations of books, workshops and seminars dedicated to books for children and the young featuring works by some of the world’s great artists, such as Giotto, Michelangelo, Giorgio Morandi, as well as by various contemporary artists.


In keeping with the innovative spirit of the Festival a number of recent promoters of the development of the Italian artistic heritage will also be involved. The historian Paolo Mieli will present the work by Renato Guttuso I funerali di Togliatti (Togliatti’s Funeral) at the MAMbo (Bologna Museum of Modern Art), while Louis Godart, the artistic adviser to the President of the Italian Republic, will talk about the image of Europe. A special guest will also speak about a work by Lucio Fontana (one of his famous “Tagli”, consisting of a cut canvas) in the Anatomical Theatre of the Palazzo dell’Archiginnasio.


A four episode miniseries entitled Fleming – The Man who would be Bond will be shown at the Film Foundation of Bologna (Cineteca di Bologna). This 2014 BBC TV production tells the story of the English novelist Ian Fleming, the creator of the James Bond character. The screenings will take place over two days, with the first two episodes introduced by Matteo Codignola – who edits Fleming’s books for the publishing house Adelphi – and the last two episodes introduced by Stefano Salis – who will speak about the graphic design and layout of the volumes published by Adelphi. The film by Elio Petri Todo Modo, which is loosely based on the novel of the same name by Leonardo Sciascia, will also be presented to the public in a new version, specially restored by the Film Foundation of Bologna.


A number of masterpieces in Italian museums and libraries that are often not often exhibited to the public will be put on display especially for the visitors to the Festival. For example, an outstanding exhibition entitled The Shining Writing – Manuscript Treasures from Italian Libraries will be held in the Hall of the Stabat Mater of the Archiginnasio Municipal Library of Bologna (Biblioteca dell’Archiginnasio), featuring some of the greatest masterpieces of the art of the book. These include the Bible of Borso d’Este, from the Estense Library (Biblioteca Estense) in Modena (which has been called “the most beautiful book in the world” and which has only once left the library where it has been kept over the centuries), the ancient “Bible of Marco Polo” from the Laurentian Library in Florence, the manuscript known as Vita Christi (the Life of Christ) written by the ascetic and biblical exegete Ludolphus de Saxonia (probably the most beautiful of all the works preserved in the Archiginnasio Municipal Library), and a digital copy (specially made by the Department for the Cultural Heritage of the Region of Calabria) of the Codex Purpureus Rossanensis, an extraordinary fifth century codex written in silver ink on purple-dyed parchment pages. Next to the original books a multi-touch interactive board lets the visitor virtually leaf through these precious volumes. The descriptions and explanations of these works will be entrusted to various distinguished scholars, including Alberto Melloni, the director of the John XXIII Foundation for Religious Studies in Bologna, and the former director of the Estense Library in Modena, Ernesto Milano.

To confirm its determination to foster and develop the Italian written heritage and its proper conservation, the Italian Ministry of Cultural Heritage and Tourism will participate with Artelibro in a conference on the theme of paper restoration, ranging from ancient manuscripts to the letters of Aldo Moro, the Italian Prime Minister who was kidnapped and killed by the Red Brigades in 1978, which will conclude with a lecture by the historian Miguel Gotor. There will also be the active participation of various local cultural institutions, such as museums, government departments, universities, libraries, and public and private foundations, which will ensure the variety of the Festival programme thanks to their own independent initiatives.

We especially wish to mention the Lercaro Foundation, which will exhibit three Flemish tapestries from the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries with stories of Alexander the Great, the MAST Foundation, with its collection of industrial photography, the Jewish Museum of Bologna, with the photographic exhibition Daughters of the King / Figlie del Re about the role of the woman in Jewish culture, the “I. B. Supino” Library of visual Arts and the Interdepartmental Library of Mathematics, Physics, Astronomy and Computer science, with a number of exhibitions entitled The University Libraries on Show. The multimedia space CUBO Centro Unipol Bologna will host the exhibition Carlo Levi – Portraits Painted with Words that will put on show thirteen works from the collection of the Gruppo Unipol financial group. Accompanying this exhibition there will be a conference about the writer and painter, with the participation of the artist Silvana Costa and the screening of the 1979 film based on Levi’s book Christ Stopped at Eboli.

The Academy of Fine Arts of Bologna is organizing the exhibition Art and Art History at the Academy: Portraits in the Gallery and the Books from the Panzacchi Fund, while the Italian Women’s Library will present an exhibition regarding the donation of the library of art books of Ida Gianelli, an important figure in contemporary art criticism, with a particular emphasis on Italian and international contemporary female artists. At the Federico Zeri Foundation there be will be the exhibition The Lost Heritage in the Photographs of Federico Zeri, showing the great critic’s collection of rare photographs of lost or dispersed works of art, which will be the prelude to a forthcoming volume on photographs in historical archives. The Civic Archaeological Museum will exhibit its rich collection of medals, which are so similar to superb art books, wonderfully illustrated by exceptional engravers, while IBACN – the government department for the books and documents of the Emilia-Romagna Region will present a number of initiatives to commemorate the centenary of the first World War entitled Military Exercises for the Great War -Words and Colours in Emilia and Romagna. At the Museo Ebraico a meeting will also be held entitled Jewish treasures in Italy.

The visitors to the Festival will also be led on a journey of discovery of the great artistic treasures of Bologna. The exceptional tour guides involved will include the scholar Cristina Acidini, the Superintendent of the State Museums of Florence, who will speak about Michelangelo’s sculptures in the Basilica of San Domenico, the art critic Vittorio Sgarbi, who will elucidate the Lamentation over the Dead Christ by Niccolò dell’Arca in the church of Santa Maria della Vita, and Luigi Ficacci, the Superintendent for the Historical, Artistic and Ethno-anthropological Heritage for the provinces of Bologna, Ferrara, Forlì-Cesena, Ravenna and Rimini, who will hold a conference dedicated to Raphael’s painting The Ecstasy of St. Cecilia, in the National Art Gallery of Bologna.

A special emphasis will be given to the themes of patronage, the art of collecting and the relationship between the public and private sectors in the management and conservation of the Italian artistic heritage. The Italian Banking Association (ABI) and the Casse di Risparmio Italian savings banks, with Marco Carminati acting as curator, will propose a fascinating voyage of discovery among the treasures of Italian art. Bernardo Bellotto’s masterpiece View of Verona with the Castelvecchio will be put on display by the Fondazione del Monte di Bologna e Ravenna bank and ​​a series of talks about it will be held by Antonio Patuelli, Paola Marini, Alessandro Morandotti and Marco Carminati, dedicated to Venetian landscape painting, the contemporary art market, and the relationship between science and art, especially in connection with Bellotto and Canaletto’s use of the camera obscura.


Also this year the association of antiquarian booksellers ALAI-Associazione Librai Antiquari d’Italia, a loyal partner of Artelibro, has confirmed its presence at the traditional appointment with the world of art-book publishing at the great fair-market of Palazzo Re Enzo, where there will be many valuable books and a section dedicated to Italian and foreign specialized journals. This year Artelibro will hold its book fair at Bologna’s Gallery of Modern and Contemporary Italian Art within the exhibition entitled A Plan for Italy. Myths, Archetypes, New Iconographies curated by Sergio Risaliti.

In collaboration with the co-operative bookstore chain and under the careful supervision of Romano Montroni, the new president of the Centre for the Book and Reading (Centro per il Libro e per la Lettura), the usual Art Bookshop will be set up in Piazza Nettuno where buyers will be able to choose from about 2,000 volumes of 30 different publishing houses. In the covered square of the Salaborsa Library Artelibro will organize the second consecutive edition of an exhibition curated by the journalist Stefano Salis entitled The First Take is the Best! The Covers of Outstanding Books, which is dedicated to the most exceptional book-covers of the year. They will be selected and judged by a jury of experts, together with the votes of the public. The prestigious Aula Magna lecture hall of the University Library of Bologna will host an exhibition of books by artists selected by Sergio Risaliti from the important collection of the National Library of Florence.

An example of a very attractive and successful combination of the worlds of publishing and art is the exhibition at the International Museum and Music Library of Bologna, consisting of 101 covers of books by the Sicilian crime-writer Andrea Camilleri. These novels have been translated into many foreign languages and the publisher Sellerio has put the image of a work of art on every cover of its editions of Camilleri’s books (starting from La strage dimenticata in 1984). The exhibition will be accompanied by a talk by Salvatore Nigro who will also speak about his recent book La Sirena e i suoi libri. Ritratto di Elvira Sellerio (The Mermaid and her books. A Portrait of Elvira Sellerio), published by Edizioni Henry Beyle.


There will also be a series of interventions by leading architects, dedicated to architecture and urban planning. Mario Botta will talk about museum spaces, a type of architectural planning that he is particularly interested in, as his work is closely connected to the cultural memory and the history of the landscapes and places where it is created and constructed. Massimiliano Fuksas will give a lecture entitled Ten Little Indians, inspired by the famous book by Agatha Christie, consisting of ten architectural creations, all of which are different but linked by a common theme and a single aesthetic ideal. The aim of this talk will be to present an active and positive side of Italy, as regards creativity, imagination and quality.


The following important guests have been invited to participate in the eleventh edition of the Artelibro Festival of the Book and of Art History: Cristina Acidini, Mario Botta, Florence Buttay, Andrea Carandini, Marco Carminati, Giuseppe Chili,  Matteo Codignola, Giorgio Cricco, Andrea Dall’Asta, Francesco Paolo Di Teodoro, Gianluca Farinelli, Luigi Ficacci, Vera Fortunati, Massimiliano Fuksas, Paola Giovetti, Louis Godart, Miguel Gotor, Andrea Kerbaker, Antoinette Le Normand-Romain, Salvatore Nigro, Gianfranco Maraniello, Cesare Mari,  Paola Marini, Alberto Melloni, Paolo Mieli, Ernesto Milano, Romano Montroni, Alessandro Morandotti, Marta Morazzoni, Salvatore Silvano Nigro, Anna Ottani Cavina, Antonio Patuelli, Daniela Picchi, Sergio Risaliti, Gianni Romano, Stefano Salis, Luca Sassi, Antonio Sellerio, Vittorio Sgarbi, Claudio Spadoni, Urs Stahel and Stefano Zuffi.

The Artelibro Festival of the Book and of Art History is promoted by the Artelibro Association together with IEA – the Association of Italian Publishers, the Municipality of Bologna, the Province of Bologna, the Emilia-Romagna Region and the Alma Mater University of Bologna. It is supported by the ABI – Italian Banking Association, Gruppo Unipol and, with the support of Bologna Welcome and the media-partnership of the newspaper Il Resto del Carlino, the Italian radio channel Rai Radio3 and the magazine Zero.

Press Office:
Irene Guzman: – +39 349 1250956
Sara Zolla: – + 39 346 8457982
Internet website: