The exhibition “Italy in Hollywood”, on show at Museo Salvatore Ferragamo in Florence (Piazza di Santa Trinita, 5/R), explores – through films, photographs, stage costumes and songs – the Italian migration to California in the early twentieth century, and the influence that the “bel paese” had on music, crafts, architecture, art and particularly cinema. The source of inspiration for the exhibition is based on Salvatore Ferragamo’s biography, and the years from 1915 to 1927, which Salvatore Ferragamo spent in the United States, first in Boston then in Santa Barbara, and finally in Hollywood.
And precisely in Hollywood, right in front of the Egyptian Theatre -where the film premières were held- Ferragamo opened the Hollywood Boot Shop, a boutique where he created shoes for famous directors such as David Wark Griffith, James Cruze, Raoul Walsh, Cecil B. DeMille, and for stars like Rodolfo Valentino (who became one of his good friend), Mary Pickford, Pola Negri, Charlie Chaplin, Joan Crawford and Lillian Gish.
Curated by Stefania Ricci and Giuliana Muscio, the exhibition is divided into 8 rooms set up by Maurizio Balò, which together provide a complete image of how Italian inspiration contributed to the success of various creative disciplines. The last room that concludes the exhibition is dedicated to the Ferragamo’s Hollywood Boot Shop and it presents itself as a stage for a theatrical performance.
The purpose is to involve the visitors into the magical world of craftsmanship, displaying some of Ferragamo’s extraordinary shoes, created exclusively for Hollywood movies stars. The exhibition can be visited until March 10th, 2019.
Above: The actor Rudolph Valentino reading a book in his home, 1922 c. Roma, Archivio GBB / Agenzia CONTRASTO