Anna Magnani at her villa in San Felice Circeo, near Rome in 1955.

SLICE OF HISTORY: Gucci’s interest in the arts shows no sign of slowing.

The Italian fashion house and its creative director Alessandro Michele have teamed with Rome’s MAXXI, the Museum of the Arts for the 21st Century, on the publication of the book “Paolo Di Paolo. Mondo Perduto [Lost World]. Photographs 1954-1968” gathering more than 300 works the Rome-based photographer took between 1954 and 1968.

Born in Italy’s central region of Molise, Di Paolo moved to Rome at an early age and soon became one of the great reportage photographers who documented the country as it emerged from World War II for the now-defunct Il Mondo weekly magazine and for personal projects. Taken with his compact Leica III C camera, Di Paolo captured black-and-white portraits of key personalities in the country’s art, culture, fashion and movie sectors. They include writer Pier Paolo Pasolini on the outskirts of Rome; the encounter between actress Gina Lollobrigida and artist Giorgio de Chirico; Anna Magnani sunbathing in her villa outside Rome, as well as Brigitte Bardot, Federico Fellini, Sophia Loren and Marcello Mastroianni, to name a few.

Along with images, the book features texts written by Michele and Di Paolo, a biography curated by his daughter Silvia, as well as commentaries and written contributions by art critic Bartolomeo Pietromarchi, fellow photographer Paolo Pellegrin, as well as Italian journalists and writers.

The cover of the book "Paolo Di Paolo. Mondo Perduto. Photographs 1954-1968” featuring the photogrpaher's "Pedestrian Subway" image taken in New York in 1963.

The cover of the book “Paolo Di Paolo. Mondo Perduto. Photographs 1954-1968” featuring the photographer’s “Pedestrian Subway” image taken in New York in 1963.  © Archivio Paolo Di Paolo

The book will be officially presented on Tuesday at the museum in Rome, when MAXXI will also unveil its upcoming monographic exhibition dedicated to the work of Di Paolo. The exhibit will bow in March and it will include a series of images that Di Paolo donated to the institution for the current exhibition “Lo Spazio dell’Immagine,” or “The Space of Image.”

This year Gucci supported another art exhibition in Shanghai’s Yuz Museum. Running Oct. 11 to Dec. 16 and curated by Italian artist Maurizio Cattelan, the show, called “The Artist Is Present,” explores the art of copying and cultural appropriation through the artworks of more than 30 Chinese and foreign artists including Damon Zucconi, Christopher Williams, Ma Jun, Aleksandra Mir and Sayre Gomez.

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