«San Francisco will see Old Masters». La fiera delle vanità del regime nel 1939

ANNO 52 2011
Lorenzo Carletti, Cristiano Giometti

«San Francisco will see the Old Masters». The fascist regime’s Vanity Fair in 1939 
In 1939, the fascist Government accepted an invitation from the director of San Francisco’s De Young Museum to send 27 masterpieces of Italian Renaissance and Baroque art to the Golden Gate International Exhibition. Although it was intended as a trade fair, a pavilion was devoted to the enjoyment of art, where people could admire paintings and sculptures selected by Giulio Carlo Argan and Roberto Longhi in response to the invitation from Giuseppe Bottai, Minister of Education. The precious loan crossed the Ocean from Genoa to New York, reaching San Francisco by train without insurance, except for paintings coming from private collections. The GGIE was the first stop on the American tour of the fascist regime’s cultural propaganda: the 27 stars later moved to Chicago and the New York Worlds’ Fair, just before Italy’s intervention in World War II.

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