Scope and Content of Collection
Title: Filippo Tommaso Marinetti correspondence and papers
Date (inclusive): 1886-1974 (bulk 1900-1944)
Marinetti, Filippo Tommaso, 1876-1944
8.5 linear feet
The Getty Research Institute
1200 Getty Center Drive, Suite 1100
Los Angeles, California, 90049-1688
Writer and founder and leader of the Italian Futurist movement. Correspondence, writings, photographs, and printed matter
from Filippo Tommaso Marinetti's papers, documenting the history of the futurist movement from its beginning in the journal
Poesia, through World War I, and less comprehensively, through World War II and its aftermath.
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Language: Collection material is in
Filippo Tommaso Marinetti, born in Alexandria in 1876, attended secondary school and university in France, where he began
his literary career. After gaining some success as a poet, he founded and edited the journal
Poesia (1905), a forum in which the theories of futurism rather quickly evolved. With "Fondazione e Manifesto del Futurismo," published
Le Figaro (1909), Marinetti launched what was arguably the first 20th century avant-garde movement, anticipating many of the issues
of Dada and Surrealism. Like other avant-garde movements, futurism took the momentous developments in science and industry
as signaling a new historical era, demanding correspondingly innovative art forms and language. Like other avant-garde movements,
futurism found a solution in collage, which Marinetti called "parole in libertà" when applied to literary forms. Between 1909
and 1920, the period known as futurism's heroic phase, Marinetti energetically promoted his own work, and that of fellow futurists,
through numerous manifestos, speeches, essays, meetings, performances and publications. Following WWI, in which he served,
Marinetti became an active member of the fascist party; on April 15, 1919, he and Ferruccio Vecchi led the "battle" of piazza
Mercanti against socialists, communists, and anarchists, which was Italian fascism's first decisive victory. In 1929 he was
elected to the Academy of Italy. Throughout the 1920s and 30s and until his death in 1944, Marinetti sought to reconcile the
theories of futurism with the ideology of state fascism and to serve as impresario for both.
Open for use by qualified researchers.
Filippo Tommaso Marinetti correspondence and papers, 1886-1974 (bulk 1900-1944), Getty Research Institute, Research Library,
Accession no. 850702.
Collection assembled from various small collections acquired from 1984 to 1989.
Brent Sverdlov processed the papers and described them in a lengthy catalog record ca. 1990. Annette Leddy rearranged them
somewhat and created a finding aid in 2004.
Papers of F.T. Marinetti and Benedetta Capa Marinetti, 1902-1965 (bulk 1920-1936) Accession no. 920092.
Marinetti student notebooks and other papers, 1891-1936, Accession no. 890122.
Two parole in libertà were moved into other collections.
"Carso=Topaia," Accession no. 870379.
"Carte Synchronique," Accession no. 850702.
Scope and Content of Collection
Marinetti correspondence and papers was assembled from various small collections acquired between 1984 and 1989, originally
drawn from the Marinetti family archive and the papers of Luigi Scrivo, Marinetti's personal secretary from around 1930.
The largest portion of the collection consists of correspondence and submissions directed to Marinetti (Series I and II),
first as editor of
Poesia and later as the leader of the futurist movement and the publisher of the book press Edizioni futuriste di "Poesia". These
letters, together with those from Marinetti (Series III) to an often unnamed correspondent ("Mon ami"), demonstrate how Marinetti
stimulated debate about his movement in part by sending queries to a broad range of international literary figures regarding
free verse or the futurist manifestos. He also critiques the writing submitted to him according to futurist criteria, warmly
praising pieces that meet his idiosyncratic standards. His correspondents, in turn, praise or critique Marinetti's writing;
of particular interest are conflicted responses to the first futurist manifesto in 1909. Letters from fellow futurists, such
as Carlo Carrà, Umberto Boccioni, Francesco Cangiullo, and Fortunato Depero reveal wranglings internal to the movement, as
well as the zeal with which they pursued their shared aims. After the First World War, letters are concerned with politics,
and during the fascist years, many regard requests for government funding for individual futurist artists. Finally, following
Marinetti's death, letters directed to Benedetta or Scrivo pertain to preservation of the futurist legacy, despite the stain
of fascism, through retrospective exhibitions, anthologies, and conferences.
Writings by Marinetti (Series IV) include a few manuscripts from futurism's first phase, such as a handwritten theatrical
synthesis "Donna + Amici = Frente" and three handwritten parole, but most of the writings date from after 1930. These include
many prefaces to the books of fellow futurists, lectures and essays on aeropainting, and clippings from
Autori e Scrittori. Circulars from Agenzia Letteraria Artistica (Series VII) contain manifestos and declarations in a newsletter format. Biographies
(Series V), either drawn from newspaper articles, reference books, or manuscripts, present official and personal accounts
of Marinetti's life; photographs (Series VI) offer a complementary visual summary. Letters to Alberto Cappa (Series VIII),
Benedetta's brother, consist largely of letters from Benedetta about her mother or brother's health, with some details about
her travels with Marinetti.
The papers are arranged in eight series:
Series I. Letters and submissions to Marinetti and others, 1900-1974;
Series II. Unsigned or undated letters and submissions, ca. 1910 - ca. 1970;
Series III. Letters from Marinetti, ca. 1905-1944;
Series IV. Writings by Marinetti, 1896-1949;
Series V. Biographies, 1927-1968;
Series VI. Photographs, 1886-1972;
Series VII. Agenzia Letteraria Artistica (A.L.A.): Circulars, 1934-1939;
Series VIII. Letters to Alberto Cappa, 1923-1931.
Subjects - Names
D'Annunzio, Gabriele, 1863-1938
Marinetti, Filippo Tommaso, 1876-1944
Subjects - Topics
Italian poetry--20th century
Subjects - Places
Italy--Politics and government
Subjects - Titles
Autori e Scrittori
Genres and Forms of Material
Bois, Jules, 1871-1943
Bragalia, Anton Giulio, 1890-1960
Buzzi, Paolo, d. 1956
Cangiullo, Francesco, 1888-1977
Carrieri, Raffaele, 1905-
Carrà, Carlo, 1881-1966
D'Albisola, Tullio, 1889-
Darío, Rubén, 1867-1916
Depero, Fortunato, 1892-1960
Di Bosso, Renato, 1905-1982
Diaghilev, Serge, 1872-1929
Dottori, Gerardo, 1884-1977
Edizioni futuriste di Poesia
Goretti, Maria Sara
Govoni, Corrado, 1884-1965
Guggenheim, Peggy, 1898-1979
Larionov, Mikhail Fedorovich, 1881-1964
Maeterlinck, Maurice, 1862-1949
Marchi, Virgilio, 1895-1960
Marinetti Cappa, Benedetta, 1897-1977
Masefield, John, 1878-1967
Mauclair, Camille, 1872-1945
Merrill, Stuart, 1863-1915
Mockel, Albert, 1866-1945
Negri , Ada, 1870-1945
Prampolini, Enrico, 1894-1956
Prezzolini, Luigi, 1885-1947
Romains, Jules, 1885-1972
Scurto, Ignazio, 1912-1954
Soffici, Ardengo, 1879-1964
Verga, Giovanni, 1840-1922
Winston, Harry Lewis
Yeats, W. B. (William Butler), 1865-1939