Arnoldo Mondadori often entertained writers and publishers in his family home in Meina, and would ask them to write a mot juste or sign their name on the wall above the fireplace.
Fondazione Mondadori is marking the fiftieth anniversary of his death with a digital exhibition that takes those signatures as a starting point to look back at Arnoldo’s relations with some of the leading figures from the 20th-century world of literature and publishing, from Eugenio Montale to Alba de Céspedes, Mario Soldati to Lavinia Mazzucchetti as well as Ernest Hemingway, Thomas Mann and Walt Disney. Interviews, archive documents and videoclips portray a home that was a place to work, to welcome friends and family, as well as a setting for encounters that hold a place in the history of Italian culture and publishing in the 20th century.
The exhibition is organised in three sections. The first, Villa Mondadori in Meina, looks at the history of the lakeside house, from its purchase in the 1920s as a summer residence open to friends and guests, to its use as a refuge and branch of the publishing house during the Second World War.
The second and third sections of the exhibition, Authors and The Publishing World, examine Arnoldo Mondadori’s relationships with some of the authors of the signatures above the fireplace: Enzo Biagi, Valentino Bompiani, Dino Buzzati, Piero Chiara, Alba de Céspedes, Lavinia Mazzucchetti, Domenico Porzio, Vasco Pratolini, Colette Rosselli, Renzo Segala, Mario Soldati.
The exhibition is online on the Fondazione Mondadori website from Friday 4 June.
50 years since the death of Arnoldo Mondadori: program
Il cam(m)ino dell’editore. Storie di Arnoldo Mondadori a Meina opens a program of initiatives dedicated to the publisher on the occasion of the fiftieth anniversary of his death, on 8 June 2021, organised in collaboration with other entities
- A commemorative postage stamp printed by Istituto Poligrafico e Zecca dello Stato and issued by the Italian Post Office on Tuesday 8 June.
- Two books examining the figure of Arnoldo Mondadori, published by Fondazione Mondadori for the «Biblioteca» series. The first is entitled Lettere all’editore. Aleramo, de Céspedes e Manzini autrici Mondadori, edited by Sabina Ciminari. The second, Dear Mr. Mondadori. I romanzi americani nel catalogo Mondadori 1930-1960, is edited by Cinzia Scarpino and traces the history of the American novels in the Mondadori catalogue between the 1930s and the end of the 1960s.
- A reprint of the biography Arnoldo Mondadori by Enrico Decleva for the Mondadori series «Oscar Storia»: in his examination of the life of the distinguished publisher and entrepreneur, for which he was awarded the Acqui-Storia prize, Decleva describes a fundamental period in arts and culture, the creation of a mass market for books and journals in a century of important social change. The book will be available from 8 June.
- A celebratory book, produced as a collaboration between the Mondadori publishing house and Fondazione Mondadori. The book will use a collection of dedications by the authors to Arnoldo Mondadori as the springboard to recount key moments and personalities in the history of the publishing house. The selection will be made by Alberto Cadioli, who will edit the book and write the introduction. The publication date will coincide with the conference to be held in the autumn.
- A conference on themes and trends in contemporary publishing, starting from the figure and entrepreneurial story of Arnoldo Mondadori. The conference, organised in collaboration with Mondadori, will be held on 7 October, the moderator will be Mario Calabresi.
- A docu-drama produced by Anele di Gloria Giorgianni and directed by Francesco Micciché, alternating archive material and personal accounts on the life of Arnoldo Mondadori.
- The creation by the Mondadori publishing house of a scholarship for the next edition of the Master in publishing at Milan University, in collaboration with AIE and Fondazione Arnoldo e Alberto Mondadori. The scholarship will be dedicated to the memory of publisher Stefano Magagnoli, who died recently and was for many years one of the leading names in Italian book publishing.