Illustrators for Gianni Rodari. Italian Excellence

The year 2020 marked exactly one hundred years since the birth of Gianni Rodari on 23 October 1920, a fact well worth celebrating. Bologna Children’s Book Fair aimed to commemorate this anniversary by remembering the creativity of Italy’s first author to win the prestigious Hans Christian Andersen Award (in 1970), and one of the most innovative and influential children’s writers of the twentieth century. 

Rodari’s works, many of which are still in print today, have been reinterpreted by some truly great illustrators. In fact, following the evolution of this idea, and in continuity with the exhibition Italian Excellence created in 2015 and presented to great acclaim in more than 10 countries, Bologna Children’s Book Fair, the Emilia-Romagna regional administration and the Italian Cultural Institute of Culture of San Francisco, with the collaboration of the Italian Consulate, promoted a new edition of the exhibition, fully devoted to Gianni Rodari.

Illustrators for Gianni Rodari. Italian Excellence represents a sort of timeline of Italian illustration, exhibiting original works by 21 illustrators who are recognised as mainstays of Italian design and illustration, such as Bruno Munari and Emanuele Luzzati, as well as great contemporary artists. 

The full list includes: Bruno Munari, Emanuele Luzzati, AltanBeatrice AlemagnaGaia Stella, Olimpia ZagnoliManuel FiorAlessandro SannaValerio VidaliSimona MulazzaniChiara ArmelliniAnna Laura CantoneFulvio TestaMaria Chiara Di GiorgioGiulia OrecchiaNicoletta CostaFederico MaggioniFrancesca GhermandiPia ValentinisElenia Beretta and Vittoria Facchini.

The exhibition and catalogue - published by Einaudi Ragazzi, owner of the publishing rights for Rodari's work – are curated by the Cooperativa Giannino Stoppani/Accademia Drosselmeier.

After the inaugural venue at the Art Museum of Portland, USA, the Exhibition moved to the Italian Cultural Institute of San Francisco.

All the venues

Here are the venues of the amazing worldwide tour:
  • Portland, Portland Art Museum, USA (7 September - 10 November 2019)
  • San Francisco, Istituto Italiano di Cultura, USA (2 December 2019 - 20 February 2020)
  • Reggio Emilia, Reggio Children, Italy (dal 22 February - 31 December 2020)
  • Moscow, Russia (March 2020)
  • Cologne, Germany (11 March - 15 July 2020)
  • Helsinki, Finland (21 March 2020)
  • Tokyo, Japan (3 April - 24 May 2020)
  • BCBF 2020 Online Special Edition (4 May - 31 December 2020)
  • Berlin, Germany (18 May - 31 August 2020)
  • Buenos Aires, Feria del Libro Infantil y Juvenil, Argentina,  28-31 July 2020
  • London, UK (2 September - 31 December 2020) 
  • Prague, Czech Republic (3-30 September 2020)
  • Shanghai, Shanghai International Children's Book Fair, China (13-15 November 2020)
  • Lyon, IIC, France (4 December 2020 - 14 January 2021) 
  • Ravenna, Italy (4 February -22 April 2021) 
  • Daegu, South Korea (1 May - 22 August 2021) 
  • Paris, IIC - Italian Cultural Institute (24 November - 31 December 2021)
  • Sainte-Foy-lès-LyonBibliothèque de Sainte Foy -Lès- Lyon (5 April - 30 June 2022)
  • Rijeka, Italian Cultural Institute (3-17 October 2022)

In addition, the Italian Language Week in the World focused on Italian Between Word and Image: Graffiti, Illustrations, Comic Books , from 19 to 25 October 2020has been an ideal opportunity to showcase the Exhibition, especially through the network of Italian Cultural Institutes but also in other prestigious settings:

  • Athens, Greece
  • Atlanta, USA
  • Auckland, New Zealand
  • Beirut, Lebanon
  • Bratislava, Slovakia
  • Chicago, USA
  • Geneva, Switzerland 
  • Jakarta, Indonesia
  • London, UK
  • Madrid, Spain
  • Miami, USA
  • Pilsen, Czech Republic
  • Pula, Croatia
  • Rijeka, Croatia
  • Sao Paulo, Brazil
  • Taipei, Taiwan
  • Tampa, USA
  • Zagreb, Croatia