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ITALIAN EXCELLENCE: Illustrations for ITALO CALVINO Exhibition Catalog


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This exhibition is a valuable opportunity for both children and adult readers to engage in the masterful writings of Italo Calvino. Born 100 years ago, Calvino became one of the world’s greatest storytellers, successfully interweaving complicated tales of romance, family, the horrors of war, conflicts of the modern world, politics, and the importance and love of reading.

This exhibit marks the centenary of the birth of one of the greats of 20th century literature and one of Italy’s most popular and well-known authors. The 61 artworks featured in this exhibit provide visitors with a historical and geographical overview of Calvino’s words. On display are pieces from 31 Italian and foreign established artists who have already published their interpretations of Calvino’s texts, alongside the illustrations of 30 contemporary artists selected by a jury from entries submitted to the Bologna Children’s Book Fair Contest held for the occasion.

Synonymous with the best in international illustrations, the Italian Excellence project– now in its fourth edition– is partnered by the Italian Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, the Emilia-Romagna Region, the Bologna Children’s Book Fair, and the Giannino Stoppani Cooperative/ Accademia Drosselmeier, working together to promote children’s publishing, a vital sector for the education of future generations. This was exactly Calvino’s thought when, in his first novel The Path to the Spiders’ Nests, he remarks that when young, every new book read is like a new eye that opens and changes what other eyes, or “book-eyes”, have seen before.

The Society of Illustrators is honored to continue his legacy by introducing viewers to the imagination of Calvino through the visual interpretations of these selected Artists. The exhibit is curated by the Giannio Stoppani Cooperative/Accademia Drosselmeier.

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