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Italian Excellence: Illustrations for Italo Calvino Panel Discussion & Reception

November 13 @ 6:30 pm - 9:30 pm

$7.00 – $15.00
Join us for a panel discussion with moderator Steven Guarnaccia who will be joined by Grazia Gotti, curator of the exhibition; Maria Russo, editorial director of Minerva and minedition and former children’s book editor of the New York Times Book Review, and illustrators Irene Rinaldi and Andrea Antinori, in a lively discussion about the exhibition and the challenges of illustrating classic literature, followed by a reception.


$15 general, $10 members, $7 students and seniors


Illustration by Gianni De Conno

Grazia Gotti is a curator of many exhibitions, a critic and author. She is the co-founder of the Giannino Stoppani children’s bookshop in Bologna and of the Drosselmeier Academy – School for Booksellers and Center for children’s literature studies. She promotes training projects for schools and institutions. For years she has been a consultant to the Bologna Children’s Book Fair for cultural programs, exhibitions and conferences.

Maria Russo is the editorial director of Astra Publishing House’s Minerva and minedition imprints. She is the former children’s book editor at the New York Times Book Review and coauthor of How to Raise a Reader (Workman). Russo has also been a writer and editor at the Los Angeles Times and the New York Observer. She holds a PhD in English and Comparative Literature from Columbia University and taught at the university’s School of General Studies.

Photograph courtesy of Maria Russo

Photograph supplied by Irene Rinaldi

Irene Rinaldi was born in Rome where she currently lives and works. She collaborates with illustrating publishing houses alongside Italian and international magazines.

Specializing in handmade print and etching‚ a crucial part of her work is related to the study of engraving and printing craftsmanship‚ offering her personal interpretation through the creation of prints and short editions.Taking from mid-century graphic design and from the strong graphic aesthetic of linocut printing‚ but also inspired by screen printed poster-art.

Among her clients are The New York Times, The Los Angeles Times, Taschen, The New Yorker, Washington Post, Boston Globe, AARP, Mondadori, La Nuova Frontiera, Topipittori, Vogue Italia, Elle France, Barilla, Iliad.

Andrea Antinori lives in Bologna and studied at ISIA in Urbino and Escola Massana in Barcelona. Since 2013 he has collaborated as an author and illustrator with Italian and foreign publishing houses. In 2023 he was awarded the International Award for Illustration BCBF — Fundación SM. His illustrations are selected for the illustrators’ exhibition at the Bologna fair in the 2017, 2020, 2021, 2023 editions. In 2017, he won the Italian Andersen Award for “best book 6/9 years old” for “La zuppa dell’orco”, and in 2019 the “Best International Illustrated Book” award at Shanghai Book Fair for his book “La grande battaglia”.

Photograph supplied by Andrea Antinori

Photograph by Francesco Lagenese

Steven Guarnaccia is an illustrator and Professor Emeritus of the Parsons School of Design. He taught in the SVA MFA Design program and, like Mr. Hell-ehr, was Op-Ed art director of the New York Times. He likewise never finished college. His illustrations have appeared in the New York Times, Abitare and Rolling Stone and he has created murals for Disney and exhibition drawings for the MoMA. He is the author of books on popular culture and design including School Days, Black and White and a Stiff Drink and a Close Shave (as well as three with Mr. H).

He has designed watches for Swatch and greeting cards for MoMA, won awards from the AIGA, the Art Directors Club, and the Bologna Book Fair and his exhibition, Fatherland, has traveled internationally. His children’s books include The Three Little Pigs: An Architectural Tale and Cinderella: A Fashionable Tale, both published by Corraini and Abrams. The Story of Pasta, published by Phaidon and the Museum of Nothing, published by Minerva, will come out in fall, 2023. Like many illustrators, he received his first illustration commission from Steven Heller.

The panel discussion will take place in the main gallery from 6:30-8:00pm. The reception will take place in the third floor gallery from 8:00-9:00pm. Bathrooms are only accessible via stairs.



Tickets are non-refundable. Tickets may not be exchanged for another event. If you are unable to use your ticket, tickets may be converted to a donation by emailing


November 13
6:30 pm - 9:30 pm
$7.00 – $15.00
Event Category:


At the Society
128 East 63rd Street
New York, NY 10065 United States
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