Scope and Content of Collection
Title: Umberto Boccioni papers
Date (inclusive): 1899-1986
Collection number: 880380
Boccioni, Umberto, 1882-1916
3 linear feet
Getty Research Institute
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.
Language: Collection material in Italian
Open for use by qualified researchers.
Umberto Boccioni papers, 1899-1986, Getty Research Institute, Research Library, Accession no. 880380.
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.
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.
Boccioni, Umberto, 1882-1916.
Art criticism—History—20th century—Italy
Art, Italian—20th century
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
Pratella, Francesco Balilla, 1880-1955
Severini, Gino, 1883-1966
Sironi, Mario, 1885-1961
Walden, Herwarth, 1878-
Boccioni a Venezia
Pittura, scultura futuriste