The history of the automobile in Florence and Tuscany through never-before-seen photos from the Archivio Foto Locchi
“The Elegance of Speed,” the exhibition that brings together photos from the Archivio Foto Locchi in the rooms at Palazzo Pitti thanks to Eike D. Schmidt, director of the Uffizi Galleries, highlights the most beautiful street races in Tuscany, the Concorsi d’Eleganza in the Boboli Gardens, the courage, the feminine charm, the deafening rumble, the pungent smell of gas, the screech of tires as they rounded the curves, the success of Italian fashion and Florence between 1934 and 1965.
The exhibition, directed by Alessandra Griffo and curated by Alessandro Bruni, Erika Ghilardi and Matteo Parigi Bini, retraces the important moments in this Tuscan undertaking; as Eike Schmidt explains, “It’s natural, looking at the photographs of the first bolides, observing their design and evolution, with the curves of their shells that grew progressively softer and slender, to think of what was happening in the world of contemporary sculpture and of its aesthetic interaction with the automobile industry. But which field took after the other? It’s difficult to say, especially in the Futurist period, how indebted Boccioni and his Unique Forms of Continuity in Space (1913) were toward the most sophisticated automobiles produced in those years, like the Itala 35/45 HP – the one used in the Peking to Paris race in 1907 – or the incredibly elegant Rolls-Royce Silver Ghost.”
Divided into three sections, the exhibition goes beyond the appreciation of the automobile in strictly technical, aerodynamic and structural terms, evokes a period of great changes in the city’s roads and in the history of Florence