5 Books on Italian Futurism A Shelfie from Jessica Palmieri, Senior Project Manager at the Getty Museum
Hello, I’m Jessica Palmieri, senior project manager for
collections at the J. Paul Getty Museum, and I’m happy to share with you my
longtime passion for futurism. It just so happens that the Getty Research
Institute has extensive archives on the subject, and the Getty occasionally
publishes on the topic (for example, the
recent book on Russian Futurist book art). Here are just five books from my
extensive personal archive, which reflect meaningful personal connections.
The very first book on the topic that I owned is this condensed survey focusing on various aspects of
Italian Futurism, such as women and Futurism, performance, and manifestos. My copy was given to me by a
close friend while I was an undergrad, when I had only heard a brief mention of
the subject in an art history survey class and was desperate to know more. I
continued to explore Futurism in these formative years.
Forming a lovely bookend, when I first started at the
Getty, I received an email through my website ItalianFuturism.org from Getty
Publications, and was happy to respond with a phone call to my new colleague. Originally
published in 1909, this Getty text is the first English translation of the
original, which demonstrates that Boccioni was one
of the foremost avant-garde theorists of his time.
This is THE text on Italian Futurist theater and was
immensely useful when I was researching my master’s thesis on Italian Futurist
marionette theater. Such a thoroughly researched text, which is a huge
contribution to avant-garde performance studies.
This is the catalog for the exhibition held in New York
at the Guggenheim in 2014, which the first comprehensive overview of Italian
Futurism to be presented in the United States. Meant to complement—but not
recreate—the exhibition, this publication examines Futurism from its inception
with F.T. Marinetti’s manifesto in 1909 through the movement’s demise at the
end of World War II. The publication spans a broad expanse of artists involved
with the movement and encompasses not only painting and sculpture, but also
architecture, design, ceramics, fashion, film, photography, advertising,
free-form poetry, publications, music, theater, and performance.
I own no fewer than three copies in both English and
Italian of this catalog. With a wealth of illustrated images, this is a great
glance at the movement in an international context. Before there was the Guggenheim
exhibition, Futurismo & Futurismi, held in Venice in 1986 and curated by Pontus Hulton, was the most impactful presentation of the subject. This exhibition was the first attempt to
contextualize Italian Futurism as an international, global cultural phenomenon. It exposed many to the art of the Italian Futurists for the first time.
By popular demand I made a quick list of places in LA that I enjoyed. I spend a lot of time researching new coffeeshops and my absolute favorite thing is to just walk around the neighborhoods and find hidden architecture gems (helped by Craig Fleming’s Secret Stairs of LA). I don’t typically go to restaurants or drink…but I’ve put some places on my big map…the full list can be found here.
Westside (Santa Monica/Venice):
Getty Villa Museum and The Getty Museum
Grab some Groundworks coffee and poke around boutique shops on Montana Ave in Santa Monica.
Point Dume State Beach (there’s a hiking path on a cliff which is lovely) or Matador State Beach up in Malibu
Hike Solstice Canyon where there are remains of a burnt down mansion or ocean views on Los Leones trail
Shop all the hip places on Abbot Kinney Blvd. in Venice
Walk through the Venice Beach Canals
The Museum of Jurassic Technology in Culver City is all sorts of weird. Walk over to the old Culver Hotel/Culver Studios/Sony Studios for some good cinema history and bustling restaurants
Lake Shrine Self Realization Temple in Pacific Palisades
Museum Row: LACMA, La Brea Tar Pits, Petersen Automotive Museum.
The Grove can be charming, along with it’s permanent Farmer’s Market.
Cinefamily occupies an old Silent Movie Theatre and they always have odd films showing there.
Hollywood Forever cemetery has lots of history and shows outdoor movies in the summer.
Griffith Observatory/Hike to the Hollywood Sign
Did you know that the LA Philharmonic has free, open rehearsals at the Hollywood Bowl?
Larchmont Village is a charming little shopping strip
Definitely go to the Velaslavaysay Panorama for a peaceful, unique experience
I just went to the California Science Center and was very underwhelmed, but seeing the Endeavour Space Shuttle was pretty cool
The Natural History Museum, because dinosaurs
Shops in the downtown arts district including Poketo, Apolis, and Alchemy Works.
The Broad Museum is great and next to it find serenity at the Blue Ribbon Garden on the roof of the Walt Disney Concert Hall
Tour the Los Angeles Times Building and then go to the Los Angeles City Hall Observation Deck
Bob Baker Marionette Theater and the Velveteria Museum of Velvet Art for a healthy dose of kitch
Enjoy views from Barndsall Art park and tour Frank Lloyd Wright’s Hollyhock House
View the Neutra VDL Studio
Grab coffee in the boathouse on Echo Park Lake and take a stroll, be sure to make friends with all the dogs
So many coffee shops and hip stores.
Travel Town Museum on the north side of Griffith Park
The Brand Library is a unique gem.
Walk under beautiful bridges at the Lower Arroyo Seco Park
See the lovely victorian homes at Pasadena Heritage and then the famous Gamble House
Colorado Boulevard in Pasadena for all your shopping needs.
I personally think the Norton Simon Museum is better than the Getty, but maybe it’s just the Degas ballerinas.
You can go to the roof of the domed theme building at LAX. And then eat In-n-Out off of Manchester/Sepulveda and watch the planes land right overhead (It’s exhilarating!)
Valley Relics Museum in Chatsworth
Old Town Music Hall in El Segundo has a sweet-ass organ and they show vintage films
Los Angeles Maritime Museum and Point Fermin Lighthouse in San Pedro