closed Bologna's industry.

Curated by: Cinzia Frisoni

The show

Since the 1950s, Bologna has experienced what is called a “Bolognese economic miracle” which differs from the national one based on the development of large factories. Many of the Bolognese industries in fact had their roots in the workshops of the late nineteenth century, characterized by a strong artisan component. The small and medium-sized industry is the protagonist of these decades, able to show flexibility and a spirit of adaptation to the market together with great specialization and capacity for technological updating.

The exhibition "Bologna s'industria. The economic rebirth from the Second World War to the 1980s in the images of the Fototecnica archive", organized by the Cassa di Risparmio Foundation in Bologna and Genus Bononiae. Musei nella città, curated by Cinzia Frisoni , intends to offer the public a synthesis of the variety of industrial production of those years, with particular attention to the way of photographically documenting categories of objects and products that are very distant from each other.

The authors of the images are four operators trained at Studio Villani (Albuccio Arcani, Tiziano Calza, Sigfrido Pasquini and Pietro Roda), who have set up their own business since 1948, orienting their business towards industrial clients. From 1953 to 1962 the company took the name of Fototecnica Artigiana and then transformed into Fototecnica Bolognese after the abandonment of the group by Tiziano Calza. Starting from 1981, after the death of the founders, there is a succession of figures in the management of the archive (at those by now historic dates) until the transfer in 1992 to the Cassa di Risparmio Foundation in Bologna.

The exhibition itinerary divided into 10 thematic sections and composed of 110 photographs (modern digital scan prints of the original negatives on glass plate), all coming from the Fototecnica collection - kept in the archive of the San Giorgio in Poggiale Library - offers a cross-section exhaustive and multifaceted of the production variety, the strong point of the Bolognese area industry: from the mechanical sector to the agri-food, chemical-pharmaceutical and radioelectric sectors, from images of life in the factory to fashion or furniture related services.

The Fototecnica collection represents an iconographic source of great importance for the documentation of the economic life of the city of Bologna and the surrounding areas, from the second post-war period to the 1980s. Over forty years of photographic recordings accompany the evolution and development of the large mechanical industry, but also of craftsmanship and numerous other business sectors, thus becoming a precious historical documentation tool.

The exhibition comes to the conclusion of a recovery project of the entire archive consisting of about 40,000 negatives on glass plate, which has so far seen the selection, cleaning, digitization, conservation and cataloging of 5,000 negatives, with the publication of the related descriptive cards on the Genus Bononiae Collections platform. Museums in the City.

Works on display

Timetable and tickets


Via Nazario Sauro, 20/2
20401 Bologna


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