50 shots of the National Geographic Society
From 16 March to 28 April, the Geiger Foundation will host the great naturalistic photography of the National Geographic Society. The exhibition What a Wonderful World, curated by Alessandra Scalvini, will feature a selection of fifty photographs by twenty contributing photographers to National Geographic, a magazine with a monthly readership of as many as 30 million people.
What a Wonderful World is meant to be a tribute to the infinite beauties of our planet, increasingly fragile and threatened, so that when seeing these images every visitor can exclaim, «what a wonderful world!»
A year after the exhibition Ernst Ludwig Kirchner in Davos, which brought to Cecina one of the great masters of twentieth-century art, the Hermann Geiger Cultural Foundation presents to the public another extraordinary artist of international renown: from December 2018 to February 2019 the exhibition hall in Piazza Guerrazzi will host the lithographs of Alberto Giacometti, known mainly for his thin sculptures, seemingly eroded by time and so strongly reminiscent of Etruscan art.
Giacometti pays tribute to Paris, the city that welcomed him after he had moved from his native Switzerland, with 150 artworks he made between 1958 and 1965 using a lithographic pencil to draw from life the boulevards, buildings, churches and monuments, but also cafés, his atelier and portraits of his brother Diego, his wife and the prostitutes he often used. Together with a short unfinished text, these works constitute the book Paris sans fin posthumously published by Tériade in 1969. In what is considered a true artistic testament, Alberto Giacometti relies on a medium that does not allow erasures and second thoughts – an attempt to recover his lost immediacy in artistic representation.
The exhibition Paris sans fin. Original lithographs by Alberto Giacometti will be open every day from 1 December 2018 to 24 February 2019, from 4 to 8 pm. Admission is free. The exhibition will be curated by Klaus Littmann and will contain works from the collection of Carlos Gross.
Paris sans fin. Original lithographs by Alberto Giacometti
1 December 2018 ‒ 24 February 2019
Open daily from 4 to 8 pm
Hermann Geiger Cultural Foundation
Piazza Guerrazzi 32/33, Cecina, Livorno (Italy)
The catalogue of the exhibition Sailing Ships. Great Stories of the Sea is now freely downloadable online!
Edited by Federico Gavazzi, the volume contains historical information regarding each sailing ship on display, accompanied by photographs by Giovanni Servi and organized according to the exhibition thematic areas: great explorations, trade with the Indies, piracy and privateering, supremacy over the seas. These aspects are investigated in essays by Federico Gavazzi and Giulia Santi of the Hermann Geiger Cultural Foundation, and Luca Lo Basso and Emiliano Beri of the University of Genoa, respectively director and member of the scientific committee of the NavLab Laboratory of Maritime and Naval History.
The catalogue, in Italian and English, is published by Bandecchi & Vivaldi Editore of Pontedera and is the latest addition to the FHG Art Series.
Click here for the list of catalogues.
More than 13,000 people attended Sailing Ships. Great Stories of the Sea: a record number of visitors that places the event among the most viewed exhibitions of the Hermann Geiger Cultural Foundation since it was established in 2009. The curator Federico Gavazzi says he is «satisfied with the result and glad that the exhibition has awakened interest in this theme. We reproposed classic stories of the sea, which had been popular among the public until about thirty years ago, and although today we tend to talk less about these topics, we managed to involve a wide, receptive audience made up of people of all ages, including children».
The exhibition was open for about 70 days during which lovers of modelling, history, sea, and adventure crowded the exhibition halls of the Hermann Geiger Cultural Foundation with an average of almost 200 people daily, who were impressed by the choice of models and the beautiful setting. Words of praise to the initiative have come from many visitors, and also from the lenders whose detailed reconstructions have been the highly appreciated protagonists of the event.
The exhibition Sailing Ships. Great Stories of the Sea, which was open from 7 July to 16 September 2018, gathered the stories and adventures experienced during the golden age of sailing by twenty-six famous ships reproduced to scale by the skilled hands of many craftsmen from all over Italy: the model makers of the Associazione Modellismo e Storia DLF of Pontassieve (Florence), Nello Camerini from Casale Marittimo (Pisa), Carlo Galanti Occulti from Savona, Daniele Gavazzi from Rosignano (Livorno), Luciano Giro from Musile di Piave (Venezia), Carlo Icarelli from San Pietro di Lavagno (Verona) and Dr Mario Signorini from Cecina (Livorno). The sailing vessels were on show along with description cards narrating their extraordinary journeys and objects related to the naval world, such as the original figurehead from the Mario Maresca Naval Museum in Meta (Naples) and scientific instruments for the calculation of routes such as those provided by Il Corsaro Arredamenti e Antichità in La Spezia. Finally, a reconstructed combat station with a gun, and a sensory installation for smelling the goods and spices traded by sailing ships completed the exhibition path.
The sails unfurling in Piazza Guerrazzi, Cecina, announce a new opportunity offered by the Geiger Foundation to embark on a wonderful journey by visiting its exhibition. Sailing Ships. Great Stories of the Sea gathers the stories of twenty-six ships and their extraordinary adventures, all related in the description cards that accompany each model. The setting of the exhibition calls to mind the colours of the dark stormy sea, the parquet flooring the deck of a ship; the lighting warms the environment and creates focus points that highlight each individual piece on display in an almost theatrical atmosphere.
The exhibition path starts with the most iconic of all navigation symbols: a massive, worn wheel. Who knows how much sea salt and how many dangerous manoeuvres it must have experienced before giving up its career. The showcases at the entrance present imposing, majestic vessels, armed with dozens of guns and decorated with very fine sculptures, such as the English Sovereign of the Seas, the first ship to be armed with over one hundred guns, and the Vasa, the Swedish flagship that sank on her maiden voyage because she was too heavy on top and lacked stability, and remained underwater for three hundred years. Also on show is the Victory, the vessel on which Admiral Nelson fought and died at Trafalgar. In order not to throw him into the sea, as was customary with the fallen, his body was placed in a cask filled with brandy.
Next to this first part of the exhibition, you will have the opportunity to observe a combat station, with the gun ready to fire its deadly shots. Also on show is a beautiful figurehead depicting an apostle: the wooden figures set at the prow were meant to protect the sailing vessel from the dangers of the seas and represented its soul. For this reason, they were held in high regard. Many ships were built to fight and assert the power of the country to which they belonged, but pirate ships also sailed the seas; not the huge black galleons full of skeletons that you see in action movies, but small, fast ships suitable for launching rapid attacks, hiding in ports and sheltering in secluded bays. Among them was the Golden Hind of privateer Francis Drake. In the service of the Crown of England, he circumnavigated the globe in the late 16th century and plundered an enormously vast treasure from Spanish enemy ships. When he returned, he was knighted by Queen Elizabeth I. Next to these ships, two showcases display ancient navigation instruments: a telescope, an azimuth compass; an octant, a sextant, and a chronometer, fundamental for determining the ship’s fix, as well as rulers, squares, map charting callipers and nibs.
Exploration is perhaps the noblest purpose and certainly the one that is linked the most to the imaginary of sailing ships. Small caravels put out to sea in search of routes for the purchase of spices (which you can see... and smell in the exhibition), and their brave, reckless sailors faced unknown seas and currents, risking illnesses and shipwrecks in the hope of being able, one day, to experience the intense emotion of shouting «Land!» when it appeared on the horizon. The ships on show on the first floor of the exhibition include the Santa María, which took Christopher Columbus to America, the Endeavour of James Cook, who helped define the territories of New Zealand and the east coast of Australia, and the Beagle, which numbered among the people on board the young naturalist Charles Darwin, the father of the theory on the origin of species that revolutionized biology.
A section is also devoted to trading sailing ships: large vessels like the Manila galleons, which shuttled between Acapulco and the Philippines to exchange the silver from South American colonies for spices, silks and porcelain from the East, or the very fast clippers, which could even outspeed steamers thanks to their vast sail area. Along with the models of these legendary ships, all handmade by skilled, patient model makers, you will be able to admire various dioramas, which add to the realism of the naval reconstruction thanks to the vividness of the setting moved by waves and wind and the presence of three-dimensional figures.
The exhibition is suitable for both adults and children, and is great for all those who love adventure and history, the sea and the brave captains. Visitors are welcome daily until 16 September 2018, from 6 to 11 pm. Admission is free and a catalogue is available that includes photographs, stories and essays on the themes of the exhibition. What about sailing with us?
Our summer exhibition for 2018 is full of charm and adventure: Sailing Ships. Great Stories of the Sea will tell the story of the golden age of sailing through magnificent models and objects related to the world of seafaring from the 15th to the 19th centuries. Along the exhibition route you will see ships of heroic navigators and adventurous privateers, famous vessels whose explorations changed the geography of the known world and altered its balance in wars of supremacy, as well as fast merchant clippers that shortened the distances between corners of the globe. Navigation instruments, naval furnishings, wooden decorations, reconstructions and dioramas will contribute to that brackish taste...
The exhibition will be inaugurated on Saturday 7 July at 6 pm in the exhibition hall of the Foundation, piazza Guerrazzi 32, and will be open daily from 6 to 11 pm until 16 September. Admission is free.