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Collection Details
Table of contents What's This?
  • Descriptive Summary
  • Administrative Information
  • Biographical/Historical Note
  • Scope and Content of Collection
  • Indexing Terms

  • Descriptive Summary

    Title: Umberto Boccioni papers
    Date (inclusive): 1899-1986
    Collection number: 880380
    Creator: Boccioni, Umberto, 1882-1916
    Extent: 3 linear feet (5 boxes)
    Repository: The Getty Research Institute
    Research Library
    Special Collections and Visual Resources
    1200 Getty Center Drive, Suite 1100
    Los Angeles, CA 90049-1688
    Abstract: The papers contain manuscripts, correspondence, diaries, photographs, clippings, ephemera, and other material by and about the Futurist artist and theoretician. The collection is especially representative of his Futurist period (1910-1915), and includes a number of essays, most of which were collected in the book, Pittura scultura futuriste (Dinamismo Plastico), as well as a compendium of articles regarding the 1985 show, Boccioni a Venezia.
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    Language: Collection material in Italian

    Administrative Information


    Open for use by qualified researchers.

    Publication Rights

    Preferred Citation

    Umberto Boccioni papers, 1899-1986, Getty Research Institute, Research Library, Accession no. 880380.

    Acquisition Information

    Acquired 1988

    Processing History

    The archive was first processed and described in 1988. Annette Leddy re-processed it and wrote a new finding aid and description in December 1994. The following books were consulted: Umberto Boccioni, Opera completa. A cura e con prefazione di F. T. Marinetti, 1927; Umberto Boccioni, Gli scritti editi e inediti. A cura di Zeno Birolli, 1971; Umberto Boccioni, Altri inediti e apparati critici. A cura di Zeno Birolli, 1972.

    Biographical/Historical Note

    Umberto Boccioni, born in Reggio Calabria in 1882, spent his childhood in Genova, Padova and Catania, and began his artistic career in Rome, where he worked with Giacomo Balla, who was then a Divisionist. In 1902 he went to Paris to study Impressionism and Cubism, traveled to Russia, and spent two years in Padova and Venice. He finally settled in Milan, where he met F.T. Marinetti in 1910 and became a Futurist, authoring, along with Carrà, Russolo, Balla, and Severini, "Manifesto dei pittori futuristi" (1910) and "Manifesto tecnico della pittura futurista" (1910). During the following five years, Boccioni produced what is generally considered Futurism's finest artistic legacy. Where other Futurist artists found a mechanical or formulaic solution to the problem of dynamism, Boccioni sought to portray dynamism as a dimension of consciousness. Thus, in the series "Dinamismi" (1913), or in works such as "Antigrazioso," and "Scomposizione di figure di donne a tavola," the object exists in complex relationship both to its environment and to the viewer's experience of it. He also published a number of theoretical essays about painting and sculpture, collected in the book Pittura scultura futuriste (Dinamismo Plastico) (1914), and traveled to various European cities, organizing Futurist shows and giving lectures. In 1915, he volunteered to serve in the great war and died after falling from his horse during a military drill.

    Scope and Content of Collection

    The Umberto Boccioni papers consist primarily of handwritten manuscripts from Boccioni's Futurist phase (1910-1915), many of which were collected, often in somewhat different form, in his book, Pittura scultura futuriste (Dinamismo Plastico). The notes and rough draft manuscripts offer a glimpse of Boccioni's compositional method and the evolution of his ideas during his very productive final five years. Most of the correspondence is from this period as well, and is generally from Futurist colleagues to Boccioni, with a few letters from Boccioni or to Marinetti. There are also a number of letters from or between family members, dating from 1899, as well as consolation letters to family members following Boccioni's premature death, with a few letters from the 1950's. Diaries and photographs supplement the papers, offering further evidence of Boccioni's deep commitment to his work. Numerous clippings about Boccioni's work and life emphasize his importance as a 20th c. artist.


    Indexing Terms


    Boccioni, Umberto, 1882-1916.
    Architecture—Italy—20th century
    Art criticism—History—20th century—Italy
    Art, Italian—20th century
    Futurism (Art)
    Italian poetry—20th century
    Painting, Italian—20th century
    Sculpture, Italian—20th century
    World War, 1914-1918—Campaigns—Italy

    Genres and Forms of Material

    Photographic prints—20th century


    Aleramo, Sibilla, 1876-1960
    Amendola Kühn, Eva, 1880-
    Balla, Giacomo, 1871-1958
    Buzzi, Paolo, d. 1956
    Carrà, Carlo, 1881-1966
    Cecchi, Emilio, 1884-1966
    Dottori, Gerardo, 1884-
    Marinetti, Filippo Tommaso, 1876-1944
    Morandi, Giorgio, 1890-1964
    Nyst, Ray
    Pratella, Francesco Balilla, 1880-1955
    Russolo, Luigi
    Severini, Gino, 1883-1966
    Sironi, Mario, 1885-1961
    Sprovieri, Paolo
    Walden, Herwarth, 1878-


    Boccioni a Venezia Pittura, scultura futuriste