Pride in Modesty: Modernist Architecture and the Vernacular Tradition in Italy

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University of Toronto Press, 2010 - Architecture - 341 pages
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Following Italy's unification in 1861, architects, artists, politicians, and intellectuals engaged in volatile debates over the pursuit of national and regional identity. Growing industrialization and urbanization across the country was changing the physical, economic, and cultural landscape. Yet at the same time there emerged a rediscovery of traditionally built forms and objects created by the agrarian peasantry. Pride in Modesty argues that these ordinary, often anonymous, everyday things inspired and transformed Italian art and architecture from the 1920's to the 1970's.

Through in-depth examinations of texts, drawings, and buildings, Michelangelo Sabatino finds that the folk traditions of the pre-industrial countryside have provided formal, practical, and poetic inspiration for both design and construction practices over a period of sixty years and through a succession of political regimes. Exploring this remarkable continuity, Sabatino rejects the division of Italian architectural history into sharply delineated periods such as fascist interwar and democratic postwar, and instead emphasizes the long, gradual process that integrated pastoral and urban ideals into a new, modernist Italy.
 

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About the author (2010)

MICHELANGELO SABATINO is an assistant professor in the Gerald D. Hines College of Architecture at the University of Houston.

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