Madlener House
4 West Burton Place
Chicago, Illinois 60610
Telephone: 312.787.4071


Constructing an ‘Ideal Nationality’ in Poetry and Glass: Emilio Villa, the Bardis, and the Collaborative Making of the São Paulo Museum of Art
Jennifer Scappettone
Apr 29, 2015 (6pm)

Please RSVP

In conjunction with our current exhibition Lina Bo Bardi: Together, Jennifer Scappettone will present her recent research on the collaborative and cross-disciplinary making of the Sao Paulo Museum of Art (MASP) in the 1940s-60s. Scappettone will track the radical efforts of curation by museum director Pietro Maria Bardi, architect and designer Lina Bo Bardi, and the poet Emilio Villa on the inaugural exhibitions for the museum, with an eye to how their supranational reach and montage of prehistoric and modernist aesthetics impacted both contemporary art criticism and the poetry of the neo-avant-garde. MASP’s unique “didactic” exhibitions, which featured objects, photographs, documents, and texts displayed in floating glass easels designed by Lina Bo Bardi, aimed to forge a newly global art history and to educate the New World public without academic pretense—in the interest of enacting what director P. M. Bardi called the “collaboration of all human forces,” generating no less than “the democratic formation of modern man.”


Jennifer Scappettone is a poet, translator, and scholar with particular interests in the reciprocal interference of language, architecture, and public space. She is the author of Killing the Moonlight: Modernism in Venice (Columbia University Press, 2014) and of the poetry collection From Dame Quickly (Litmus, 2009); she edited and translated Locomotrix: Selected Poetry and Prose of Amelia Rosselli (University of Chicago Press, 2012), and curated Belladonna Elders Series 5: Poetry, Landscape, Apocalypse (Belladonna, 2009). Exit 43, a cross-genre work on toxic archaeologies and salvage, is in progress for Atelos Press, with a web-based installation forthcoming in collaboration with Judd Morrissey. She is an associate professor at the University of Chicago.


Image: Installation of the Didactic Expositions at the São Paulo Art Museum (MASP), 1947-8. Vitrine structures by Lina Bo Bardi; content by Emilio Villa, Pietro Maria Bardi, and collaborators. Courtesy Archives of the Library of the São Paulo Art Museum (MASP).

For more information on the exhibition, Lina Bo Bardi: Together, click here.