Achille Calzi is one of the most complex figures of twentieth century Faenza (and perhaps even in all of Italy). Multi-talented and expert in different arts, he was the spirit of a true modern artist incarnate, able to skilfully adapt and respond to artistic necessities and contexts or intellectual endeavours. The relationship between Calzi, Gaetano Ballardini and the International Museum of Ceramics is often mentioned, highlighting the contentious nature of these two strong and authoritative personalities, who both played a leading role in the artistic development of the city. Clearly, when Ballardini established the International Museum of Ceramics, it is unlikely that Calzi, the newly appointed director of the Municipal Art Gallery, saw this as fair play, by the administration of the time. He opposed ceding the municipal ceramics collection to the MIC; it only happened after his death. In addition, the creation of the Royal School, also founded and headed by Ballardini, happened while Calzi was regent of the historic secular local School of Drawing. However, we can see that Ballardini undoubtedly held his “rival” in high esteem. After Calzi’s premature death, Ballardini organised the purchase of a small core of his ceramics, as documented in the unpublished text from the MIC archive, dated 24 December 1919. Later aDirectors of the MIC, Giuseppe Liverani and especially Gian Carlo Bojani, began acquiring pieces and proposing different studies aimed at discovering the extraordinary life of the artist. They continued what had already begun with the 1968 exhibit, by Antonio Corbara and Ennio Golfieri, marking 50 years after Calzi’s death, which not only accomplished the arduous task of reconstructing the artist’s biography, but was also a fundamental study on his work in caricatures “in pace e in guerra” (In peace and war) (Faenza, 1981). This close relationship has continued over the years and in 2013 an important and valuable donation was made by his granddaughter, for which the MIC is committed to realizing a series of critical interpretations, expertly completed by Ilaria Piazza. “Achille Calzi is still awaiting a critical explanation worthy of his work”, wrote Bojani in 1991, on the occasion of a small exhibition dedicated to Calzi’s ceramics, in Forlì. That would be Bojani’s final contribution after the moments he focused his attention on Calzi in the context of Liberty in Emilia-Romagna (Bologna, 1977), Liberty in Faenza (Faenza, 1977), the Cenacolo Baccarini (Faenza, 1983), illustrations and prints (Riolo, 1984). Let’s not forget that it was Bojani, who in 1982 at the Uffizi in Florence, promoted and coordinated the donation of Calzi’s Autoritratto (Self-portrait), by his daughter Lidia, in order to enrich the prestigious Florentine collection.

Achille Calzi è una delle più complesse figure del Novecento faentino (e, oserei dire, anche italiano). Poliedrico e politecnico, seppe incarnare da protagonista il vero spirito dell’artista moderno, capace di adattarsi e misurarsi con situazioni e necessità artistiche ed intellettuali varie. Il rapporto tra Calzi, Gaetano Ballardini e il Museo Internazionale delle Ceramiche è stato più volte affrontato, mettendo in risalto i contrasti tra queste due personalità forti e autoritarie, che hanno avuto entrambe un ruolo di primo piano nello sviluppo artistico della città. Certo è che la creazione di Ballardini del Museo delle Ceramiche non doveva essere parsa al neodirettore della Pinacoteca, Calzi, una mossa leale da parte dell’allora amministrazione, tanto da opporsi alla cessione delle ceramiche della collezione municipale, avvenuta solamente dopo la sua morte. Così come la creazione della Regia Scuola, sempre fondata e diretta da Ballardini, quando l’altro, Calzi, era stato nominato reggente della storica e secolare Scuola di Disegno faentina. È indubbia però la stima di Ballardini nei confronti del “rivale”, allorquando, all’indomani della prematura scomparsa di Calzi, si fece promotore dell’acquisto di un piccolo nucleo di ceramiche, come testimonia il ritrovamento nell’archivio del Museo di un inedito documento datato 24 dicembre 1919. Furono poi i successivi direttori del MIC Giuseppe Liverani e Gian Carlo Bojani, soprattutto, a iniziare una serie di acquisizioni e a proporre diversi studi rivolti alla scoperta di questa straordinaria personalità, continuando il percorso intrapreso con la mostra promossa per i cinquant’anni dalla morte nel 1969 da Antonio Corbara e da Ennio Golfieri, a cui si deve non solo l’arduo impegno nella ricostruzione della vicenda biografia dell’artista, ma anche il fondamentale studio sulla sua attività di caricaturista “in pace e in guerra” (Faenza, 1981). Un rapporto continuato nel tempo, fino alla recente importante e significativa donazione dello scorso 2013 per opera della nipote, per la quale il MIC si impegnò ad iniziare un serio lavoro critico, oggi compiutamente realizzato da Ilaria Piazza. “Achille Calzi attende ancora una esegesi adeguata alla sua opera”, scriveva Bojani nel 1991, in occasione di una piccola mostra dedicata alla ceramica di Calzi, allestita a Forlì. Quello fu l’ultimo intervento di Bojani dopo le varie parentesi di studi a lui dedicati nei contesti del liberty emiliano-romagnolo (Bologna, 1977), del liberty faentino (Faenza, 1977), del Cenacolo Baccarini (Faenza, 1983), della grafica (Riolo, 1984). Non va dimenticato inoltre l’impegno, sempre di Bojani, nel farsi promotore, nel 1982, presso gli Uffizi di Firenze, della donazione dell’Autoritratto di Calzi, da parte della figlia Lidia, per arricchire la prestigiosa collezione fiorentina.

ACHILLE CALZI TRA SIMBOLISMO E LIBERTY / Jennifer Monroe, Monica Gori. - STAMPA. - (2017), pp. 1-384.

ACHILLE CALZI TRA SIMBOLISMO E LIBERTY

Jennifer Monroe
Co-primo
Writing – Original Draft Preparation
2017

Abstract

Achille Calzi is one of the most complex figures of twentieth century Faenza (and perhaps even in all of Italy). Multi-talented and expert in different arts, he was the spirit of a true modern artist incarnate, able to skilfully adapt and respond to artistic necessities and contexts or intellectual endeavours. The relationship between Calzi, Gaetano Ballardini and the International Museum of Ceramics is often mentioned, highlighting the contentious nature of these two strong and authoritative personalities, who both played a leading role in the artistic development of the city. Clearly, when Ballardini established the International Museum of Ceramics, it is unlikely that Calzi, the newly appointed director of the Municipal Art Gallery, saw this as fair play, by the administration of the time. He opposed ceding the municipal ceramics collection to the MIC; it only happened after his death. In addition, the creation of the Royal School, also founded and headed by Ballardini, happened while Calzi was regent of the historic secular local School of Drawing. However, we can see that Ballardini undoubtedly held his “rival” in high esteem. After Calzi’s premature death, Ballardini organised the purchase of a small core of his ceramics, as documented in the unpublished text from the MIC archive, dated 24 December 1919. Later aDirectors of the MIC, Giuseppe Liverani and especially Gian Carlo Bojani, began acquiring pieces and proposing different studies aimed at discovering the extraordinary life of the artist. They continued what had already begun with the 1968 exhibit, by Antonio Corbara and Ennio Golfieri, marking 50 years after Calzi’s death, which not only accomplished the arduous task of reconstructing the artist’s biography, but was also a fundamental study on his work in caricatures “in pace e in guerra” (In peace and war) (Faenza, 1981). This close relationship has continued over the years and in 2013 an important and valuable donation was made by his granddaughter, for which the MIC is committed to realizing a series of critical interpretations, expertly completed by Ilaria Piazza. “Achille Calzi is still awaiting a critical explanation worthy of his work”, wrote Bojani in 1991, on the occasion of a small exhibition dedicated to Calzi’s ceramics, in Forlì. That would be Bojani’s final contribution after the moments he focused his attention on Calzi in the context of Liberty in Emilia-Romagna (Bologna, 1977), Liberty in Faenza (Faenza, 1977), the Cenacolo Baccarini (Faenza, 1983), illustrations and prints (Riolo, 1984). Let’s not forget that it was Bojani, who in 1982 at the Uffizi in Florence, promoted and coordinated the donation of Calzi’s Autoritratto (Self-portrait), by his daughter Lidia, in order to enrich the prestigious Florentine collection.
2017
978-88-7336-686-7
Andrea Casadio, Claudio Casadio, Sauro Casadei, Ilaria Piazza
Achille Calzi. Tra Simbolismo e Liberty
ACHILLE CALZI TRA SIMBOLISMO E LIBERTY / Jennifer Monroe, Monica Gori. - STAMPA. - (2017), pp. 1-384.
Jennifer Monroe, Monica Gori
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11585/965215
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