Metropole / Colony: Africa and Italy at the Wolfsonian Museum – FIU

From January 25 through April 15, 2012.

The Wolfsonian – Florida International University is presenting Metropole / Colony: Africa and Italy, an exhibition that addresses the central role African colonization played in shaping Italian national identity during the Fascist era (1922-1943). The exhibition, which is free and open to the public, is on view in The Wolfsonian Teaching Gallery at The Patricia & Phillip Frost Art Museum at Florida International University through the Spring 2012 semester.

With the invasion of Ethiopia in 1935, Benito Mussolini launched an expansion of the Italian empire in northeast Africa beyond the territories already claimed by the previous regime between 1890 and 1911. Metropole / Colony uses a variety of items from The Wolfsonian’s collection to demonstrate that the colonization of Africa was integral, rather than peripheral, to efforts by Mussolini’s Fascist regime and other institutions to forge a social and cultural consensus. The exhibition shows how a set of key concerns (including the development of tourism, the construction of new settlements, the building of infrastructure, and promotion of agriculture and industry) were manifested both on the Italian mainland and in the colonies. By presenting posters, paintings, ceramics, commemorative books, and many other items, the exhibition provides an overview of the visual and material culture of Fascist Italy and its African empire.

Metropole / Colony is the fifth exhibition presented by The Wolfsonian with the Frost Art Museum’s collaboration. Supported with funding from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, The Wolfsonian Teaching Gallery provides an opportunity for FIU faculty members to work with museum staff in developing exhibitions from the Wolfsonian collection that serve as resources for teaching and learning, and advance scholarly research. For this project, the museum has collaborated with Professor David Rifkind, Department of Architecture, FIU, a specialist on Italian architecture during the Fascist era.

The Wolfsonian Museum – FIU Teaching Gallery
10975 SW 17th Street
Miami, FL 33199

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