closed Bologna s’industria.

Curated by: Cinzia Frisoni

The show

Starting in the 1950s, Bologna lives what is called a "Bolognese economic miracle" that differs from the national one based on the development of large factories. Many of the Bolognese industries in fact had their roots in the shops of the late nineteenth century, characterized by a strong artisan component. The small and medium industry is the protagonist of these decades, able to show flexibility and spirit of adaptation to the market together with great specialization and technological updating ability.

The exhibition "Bologna s'industria. The economic renaissance from the second post-war period to the 1980s in the images of the Fototecnica archive", organized by the Cassa di Risparmio Foundation in Bologna and Genus Bononiae, curated by Cinzia Frisoni, aims to offer the public a summary of the variety of industrial production of those years, with particular attention to the way photographically document categories of objects and products that are very distant from each other.

The authors of the images are four operators trained at the Studio Villani (Albuccio Arcani, Tiziano Calza, Sigfrido Pasquini and Pietro Roda), who since 1948 have set out on their own, directing their activity towards industrial customers. From 1953 to 1962 the company took the name of Fototecnica Artigiana and then turned into Fototecnica Bolognese after the abandonment of the group by Tiziano Calza. Since 1981, after the death of the founders, there has been an alternation of figures in the management of the archive (on those historic dates) up to the sale in 1992 to the Cassa di Risparmio Foundation in Bologna.

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

The Fototecnica fund represents an iconographic source of great importance for the documentation of the economic life of the city of Bologna and the neighboring areas, from the Second World War to the Eighties. Over forty years of photo shoots accompany the evolution and development of the great mechanical industry, but also of crafts and numerous other business sectors, thus becoming a valuable tool for historical documentation.

The exhibition concludes with a project to recover the entire archive consisting of around 40,000 negatives on a glass plate, which has so far seen the selection, cleaning, digitization, preservation and cataloging of 5,000 negatives, with the publication of the related descriptions on the platform of Genus Bononiae Collections.

Works on display

Timetable and tickets


Via Nazario Sauro, 20/2
20401 Bologna


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