NO ROOM(S) FOR FALSE MODESTY
Exactly one week ago today I had the pleasure of attending an author’s talk and book signing at the Books & Books in Coral Gables. The presentation was made by Michelangelo Sabatino, Assistant professor in the Gerald D. Hines College of Architecture at the University of Houston, and a former Wolfsonian research fellow.
During his residential fellowship here at the Wolfsonian, Professor Sabatino had the opportunity to investigate our very strong collection of books dealing with the architectural traditions that flourished in Mussolini’s Italy.
Professor Sabatino was particularly interested in the confluence of modernist and vernacular traditions, and honed in on Italian folk influences on design practices. He was delighted to find a series of postcards dating from the Esposizione regionale etnografica held in Rome in 1911.
In his newly published work, Pride in Modesty: Modernist Architecture and the Vernacular Tradition in Italy, Dr. Sabatino contradicts with the traditional view that perceived a sharp break in architectural traditions following the Fascist government’s defeat in the Second World War. Instead, he persuasively argues for the existence of a remarkable continuity of the blending of these pastoral and urban ideals in architectural projects spanning from the 1920s to 1970s.
Dr. Sabatino was generous to donate and sign a copy for our library. Naturally, all of us here at The Wolfsonian are proud to have played even a small part in helping Professor Sabatino find and access materials that have resulted in such a wonderful work of scholarship.