With the support of the Helen J. Beard Conference Travel Grant, Art History Ph.D. student Ashley Lindeman presented a paper in April at the American Association for Italian Studies / Canadian Society for Italian Studies (AAIS/CSIS) conference in Columbus, Ohio. Her paper, “‘Synthesis of Modernity’: The 1933 Fascist Commission of Futurist Murals in La Spezia” describes Enrico Prampolini and Fillìa’s Le comunicazioni murals for the La Spezia post office, notable as one of the few examples of Futurist art commissioned for Fascist public buildings.
The murals, constructed in 1933 for the post office in La Spezia, Italy, represent various methods of communication and transportation that were lauded by all Italians, regardless of their political affiliations. Drawing on both Futurist and Fascist primary sources, Lindeman demonstrates the ways in which the Futurist mural served both the political goals of the National Fascist Party and the aesthetic expectations of Italian Futurism. The parties’ ambitions overlapped through the utilization of ancient artistic models, the appreciation and reliance on technology, and the power of the public site. This paper offers one way of viewing the state of Futuro-Fascist projects and explores an understudied relationship in twentieth-century Italy.