ICCU Rome, IT

The Istituto Centrale per il Catalogo Unico delle biblioteche italiane e per le informazioni bibliografiche/ Central Institute for the Union Catalogue of Italian Libraries and Bibliographic Information is a branch of the Ministero per i Beni e le Attività Culturali (Ministry for Cultural Heritage and Activities).
ICCU has a deep expertise in digitisation standards and guidelines, collaboration for integrated access to Cultural Heritage resources; in fact, on behalf of the Ministry of Cultural Heritage and Activities, it coordinates major digital cultural heritage projects on the national level, for example, Internet Culturale (launched in 2001), which developed an integrated access portal to the digital resources of Italian libraries, and CulturaItalia, the Italian culture portal. At the European level the director of ICCU was involved as coordinator in many digitisation projects since FP5, such as MINERVA and MICHAEL for the coordination of digitisation policies and programmes, DC-NET and INDICATE for the development of CH infrastructures, ATHENA, Linked Heritage, Europeana Judaica, Europeana Awareness, and Europeana 1914-1918 for the content contribution to Europeana.
ICCU cooperates with Fototeca Nazionale and Foto SAR. ICCU is involved in standardisation activities, among which MAG and PICO for cross-domain, used in CulturaItalia portal and LIDO, the standard for museum harvesting developed in the frame of the ATHENA project (coordinated by ICCU).

In the framework of Partage Plus, ICCU gives technical support for digitisation to the following content providers:

The new mounting of the National Gallery of Modern and Contemporary Art of Rome - opened in 2011 on the centenary of the Gallery itself and on one hundred fiftieth anniversary of the unification of Italy - has totally revolutionized the traditional way of enjoyment of the museum. The thematic division of the exhibition sections, while maintaining a certain temporal coherence, allows the viewer to individually choose the specific section to visit.
Ample space of the permanent collections is dedicated to those works and those Italian and foreign artists that were the protagonists of a society in constant ferment during the late nineteenth century.
The importance and the widespread influence that these artistic commitments have had it is also highlighted by the new location in the museum that brings emphasize to the transversality of the themes, through the innovation of the exhibition.
Although there is a room entirely dedicated to the Belle Epoque (Room 18), it is possible to find works of fin de siècle in other thematic sections.
In the last decades of the nineteenth century, thanks to the second industrial revolution, Europe was going through a period of development and prosperity.
Economic prosperity – and at the same time a fairly stable political and social situation - encourages the growth of small and medium bourgeoisie. The new middle class contributes soon to the creation of the opulence and the illusions of a cosmopolitan social life known as the Belle Epoque.
This social class celebrates itself in all the major European capitals, meeting places where the trendy rituals are enhanced by the lights of a triumph that is going to be dissolved in a short time.
Intellectuals, aristocratics and dandy are all part of the same elite that revolutionizes the styles and portrait themselves in De Nittis’s crowded images (Races in the Bois de Boulogne), in those shining Boldini’s (The portrait of the Marchesa Casati) or in Corcos’s rarefied atmospheres (Dreams).
But the exciting new social phenomena hide, in fact, the cracks of a society that was increasingly divided into social classes away from one another. From the euphoria of golden age, where the new rich live in the glory of their image, where they are immortalized, to a period of radical change of the Art Nouveau.
Industrial production, that made possible the brightness of the Belle Epoque, was changing the social scene and, simultaneously, the artistic set: labour’s work and industrial products needed improvement.
So the new taste is oriented to the industrial product which, from now, should have an artistic dignity.
The need of a modern art, in line with the progresses of that time, also responds to meet contemporaneous man’s needs.
Art Nouveau interprets this desire of changing that is spreading, in a peculiar way, in every European nation. In each country it takes different form and name: French Art Nouveau in Italy becomes Liberty, Jugendstil in Germany and Secession in Austria.
The Art and everyday life become one in the sinuous decorations inspired by the nature. Golden eclecticism and symbolic mosaics that characterize Klimt’s great paintings (The three ages) are the most popular expression.
 

The building that houses the Museo Hendrik Christian Andersen in Rome was built between 1922 and 1925, projected by the same Andersen, just out the Porta del Popolo; in 1935 it was elevated of a floor, and decorated with allegorical paintings.
The two large studios on the ground floor – the Gallery, a reception hall where the artist showed his visitors the finished works, and the Studio, a real studio for creating and modeling his works – host the monumental statues, the portrait-busts and the drawings for the project of the-"World Center of Communication".
Once this was the home of the artist, and now it is an exhibition space both for permanent
collections – paintings, drawings, small size sculptures – both for temporary exhibitions dedicated to relations between Italy and foreign artists of the Nineteenth and Twentieth centuries. Villa Helene has been bequeathed by Hendrik Christian Andersen to the Italian State in 1940, the year of his death. During the permanence of the adoptive sister Lucia, usufructuary of the bequest, the two upper floors were used as a hotel. After 1978, the year of her death, begins the "public" story of the property.
The opening of the museum occurred on December 19, 1999. Under the supervision of the Superintendence of the National Gallery of Modern Art in Rome, the building is now an interesting house-museum in which the visitor can find two broad accessibility stations: the first with a multimedia touch-screen and audio with subtitles for deaf visitors; the second one is located on the ground floor and gives the possibility to make a tactile experience, with an audioguide describing the highlights of the life of the artist.
The set shows a decorative style of the original only in part borrowed from neo-renaissance, unique in the Roman architecture of those years, is enriched with symbolic motifs and allusions to the artist's deep emotional ties with his family, recalls the whole American tastes of the century.
The desire to combine different arts, appears throughout the exterior and interior decoration: Inside the stucco and painted decorations share with the Art Nouveau style, attention to natural elements. The stucco and polychrome mosaics of the facade are party to the eclectic style of late nineteenth century. The interior has many elements inspired by the characteristics of Art Nouveau, iron railings of the staircase spirals imaginatively inspired by the plant world, the stained glass windows, functional spaces specially designed by the artist (for porcelain and woodwork armaoire to mirror as a pantry and utility room for laundry).
Chronologically then the collections, paintings, drawings and sculptures by Hendrik Andersen and Andreas, the large picture (sketch book and note book) and photographic (hundreds of postcards and photos) of the period are an inexhaustible patrimony, witness of life and environment American Culture in Rome between 1896 and the early decades of the twentieth century. I kept notebooks, notes for illustrations of fairy tales and fables, descriptions of flora and fauna are evidence of taste and production of a coterie of friends Hendrik Andersen American artists, illustrators and cartoonists: John Briggs Potter and Howard Cushing. Of particular interest in the store in 1918 and a typed copy of Diary of Olivia Cushing, sister of the artist, a young American from Boston who died in Rome in 1918, which sustained, shared spiritually and materially all artistic production of the Norwegian sculptor.
 

In 1987 Irene de Guttry, Maria Paola Maino, and Mario Quesada founded the Archives of 20th Century Italian Applied Arts, with the goal of putting together a comprehensive collection of documentation (photographs, articles, drawings, projects, and various documents) on Italian applied arts in the 20th century (furniture, furnishings, glasswork, ceramics, graphic art, models, fashion, jewellery, theatre costumes, embroideries, etc.), a field of study that had been rather overlooked by Italian institutions. From then on, the Archives have amassed vast holdings comprising 315 folders on various artists and themes (ca. 12,000 paper documents, 212 historical documents, 3,550 b/w photos, 160 period photographs, 3,450 colour photos, 425 instant photographs, over 5,000 slides). A great deal of additional digital material, especially photographs, has been added since 2005.
The Latium Superintendence for Archives, with its deliberation dated 14 March, 2002, declared the Archives “of significant historical interest in light of the depth and breadth of the scientific research involved, which has resulted in important publications […]”. In 2002 Gabriella Tarquini took over the role of Mario Quesada, who died in 1996.
The archive’s collections were donated to the National Gallery of Modern Art, and are currently housed in the Andrea and Blanceflor Boncompagni Ludovisi Museum.
The headquarters of the Archives of 20th Century Italian Applied Arts also house a specialized library comprising full sets of Italian periodicals such as Novissima, Arte Italiana Decorativa e Industriale, L’artista moderno, Natura e Arte, and L’Illustrazione Italiana; and foreign ones including L’Art Décoratif, The Studio, and Art et Décoration. The library also holds monographs, exhibition catalogues, auction catalogues, and encyclopedias.
A significant proportion of the material held in the Archives (magazines, books, catalogues, photographs, slide, etc.) concerns the development of Art Nouveau and its leading lights in Europe, with a particular focus on Italy.
The material held in the Archives of 20th Century Italian Applied Arts documents the birth of the Art Nouveau movement, which emerged in the years straddling the 19th and 20th centuries.
Magazines like L’Art Décoratif, The Studio, and Art et Décoration published numerous articles on the various visions of “new modern art” in Europe. Issues of Novissima, Arte Italiana Decorativa e Industriale, L’artista moderno, Natura e Arte and L’Illustrazione Italiana, instead testify to the spread of Art Nouveau in Italy starting in 1900, a few years later than in most other European countries.
The archives’ collections include various monographic and thematic folders, some of which deal with Art Nouveau works. The leading artists of the Art Nouveau era, and artists who embraced this approach at least temporarily, included: Giuseppe Sommaruga, Victor Horta, Eugenio Quarti, Galileo Chini, Carlo Zen, Umberto Bottazzi, Vittorio Zecchin, Alessandro Mazzucotelli, Carlo Bugatti, Duilio Cambellotti, Vittorio Valabrega, Vittorio Ducrot, Alfredo Melani, Ernesto Basile, etc. In the collection’s thematic section, documents on Art Nouveau are held in the folders concerning stained-glass windows, furniture, ceramics, material, etc.

Role in the Partage Plus project: ICCU is a project partner digitising content.