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Current Exhibits

NeoRealismo: The New Image in Italy, 1932 – 1960

On View:
September 27 - December 29, 2019

Gallery Hours:
Friday through Sunday, 12 to 5 PM

Free of charge

A boy performs a gravity-defying, one-handed cartwheel in a largely empty town square in Venice. A team of men trudges down snowy streets, shovels in hand, to tackle yet another day of grueling work. A woman — channeling her inner child — rides a bike joyously through puddles on a flooded street in Milan.

These are the faces of NeoRealismo: The New Image in Italy, 1932–1960, an extraordinary exhibition that poignantly portrays life in Italy through the lens of photography before, during, and after World War II.

Experience this free exhibition, the most comprehensive curated collection of journalistic images capturing the faces of Italy after World War II. NeoRealismo toured Europe to great acclaim and recently made its U.S. debut at New York University’s Grey Art Gallery.  Exclusively sponsored by the E. L. Wiegand Foundation, NeoRealismo has exhibited at the Museo Italo Americano in San Francisco — and now at arteitalia in Reno.

NeoRealismo documents not only Italy’s economic and social conditions in the mid-20th century, but also its rebirth as a democratic nation. It depicts a journey characterized by chaos and war, to triumph and liberation, and ultimately to rebirth through resilience. This collection of images will form a memorable narrative that will introduce Nevadans to the ancestors of our rich Italian heritage, while also celebrating the many blessings inherent to democracy.

The exhibit features some 110 prints — primarily vintage photographs — captured by more than 50 Italian photographers, paired with the original magazines, photobooks, and newspapers in which they circulated. These are curated from private collections and on view exclusively at arte italia from September 27 through December 29, 2019.  

The display also includes film excerpts by such notable directors as Federico Fellini, Roberto Rossellini, and Luchino Visconti, alongside related movie posters. 


In the News: arte italia Is the Talk of the Town

People are talking about our newest exhibit, “NeoRealismo: The New Image in Italy, 1932–1960.” Read on to see what they’re saying, and then let us know what you think!

This Is Reno Spotlights arte italia

Why did Kristen Avansino, executive director of arte Italia, bring the photographic exhibit “NeoRealismo: The New Image in Italy, 1932–1960” to Reno? And what does the exhibit’s curator, Enrica Viganò, say about the experience of witnessing the touring exhibit? Read about this and more in this recent article that appeared in This Is Reno, featuring arte italia and NeoRealismo.

RGJ Reviews NeoRealismo at arte italia

Reno Gazette-Journal reporter Jenny Kane recently visited arte italia to experience “NeoRealismo: The New Image in Italy, 1932–1960” She spoke with our executive director Kristen Avansino about the emotion behind the photographs on display and why many people return multiple times to fully experience the free exhibit. Read Jenny Kane’s story here.

Reno Moms Blog Explores Family Ties at arte italia

Blogger Mikalee Byerman shares why “NeoRealismo: The New Image in Italy, 1932–1960” is the perfect destination for families and students of history, art, journalism or politics in a recent post on Reno Moms Blog. Check out her perspective (and read more about the destination’s visiting chef’s program here.

Reno Dads Podcast Features arte italia Executive Director

Jonathan Salkoff, local Reno Dad and podcaster, sat down with Kristen Avansino to talk about the mission of arte italia. They discussed how the Italian cultural center is “hidden in plain sight” on the corner of California and Flint, in addition to the impact of Italian culture on Reno’s colorful history. Listen to the podcast here.

Reno News & Review Highlights New Exhibit at arte italia

The Reno News & Review’s Jeri Davis recently experienced “NeoRealismo: The New Image in Italy, 1932–1960” Her story includes a conversation with executive director Kristen Avansino about the power of the raw images presented in the exhibit. “What you will see upstairs, I think, will bring people back several times—because it's multi-layered,” Avansino says in the article. Read the full story here.

Keep following us: We’ll continue to share links here and on our Facebook page. And remember: a visit to arte italia to see NeoRealismo is free. The exhibit ends Dec. 29, and gallery hours are Fridays through Sundays weekly, noon to 5 p.m. Visit our event page for more information.



Teachers: “NeoRealismo” Offers Experiential Learning for Local Students

Are you an educator — or do you know someone who is?  Now through winter break, arte italia invites you to an engaging and free educational opportunity — a new exhibit called “NeoRealismo: The New Image in Italy, 1932 – 1960,” which poignantly portrays life in Italy through the lens of photography before, during, and after World War II.

This collection of images forms a memorable narrative that introduces Nevadans to the ancestors of our rich Italian heritage, while also celebrating the many blessings inherent to democracy.

This is an ideal field trip destination or extra credit opportunity for anyone interested in:  History, Social Studies, Civics, Journalism, Art, Photography, or Film.  arte italia has also developed an interactive “scavenger hunt” handout that will captivate students, facilitating deeper appreciation of the images and inspiring further reflection.

Email us at or call 775-333-0313 for educational questions or to inquire about school group visits.


Martin Scorsese on Neorealism

The following is an excerpt written by acclaimed filmmaker Martin Scorsese from the foreword of “NeoRealismo: The New Image in Italy 1932-1960.” Find the full book here. Visit arte Italia any Friday through Sunday, noon to 5 p.m, between September 27 – December 29, to see the powerful images that inspired Martin Scorsese to write this piece.

“Each of us has moments in life that we continually return to. For me, it is a childhood memory from the late 1940s, of sitting around the television in our apartment in Little Italy and watching Roberto Rossellini’s Paisà. Or, to be more precise, watching my grandparents watching the pictures. They had come to America from Sicily at the turn of the century, and these were the first moving images of their homeland that they have been since then. And, they were also seeing what had become of it after the devastation of world war.

There were so many occurrences and experiences and emotions and sparks of recognition that led me to become a filmmaker. That was one of them. And as I saw more and more films from Italy, neorealism became a touchstone. It still is.

In the late 1990s, I started a documentary on the history of Italian cinema, Il Mio Viaggio in Italia, or My Voyage to Italy, named after another of Rossellini’s pictures. And during that time, I thought a great deal about the role of Italian neorealism in the life of the country. On the one hand, you can recognize the seeds of neorealism in a few key pictures made long before the ones that came to define the movement: Open City (1944), Paisà (1946), Shoeshine (1946), La terra trema (1947), Bicycle Thieves (1947), and Umberto D. (1952). Those landmark films were like nothing else in the cinema, because they were a collective human response to the devastation and tragedy of the war, a response that came in the form of art. Neorealism was known for its lack of artifice—going out into the streets to shoot stories grounded in everyday life, from the situations to the locations to the use of non-actors. Of course, there was artifice in those pictures, and there was the extraordinary artistry of Rossellini and De Sica and Visconti. But it was all in the service of illuminating the here and now, and the everyday courage required to live with dignity and freedom and compassion. Truly, Italian neorealism helped the nation to reclaim its soul.

Neorealism is difficult to define. It is an impulse. It is a moment. It is an act of recovery and restoration. It is a source of inspiration, a fountain that never stops flowing.”

Source: Viganò, E., Scorsese, M., Amodeo, F., Brunetta, G. P., Falcetto, B., & Pinna, G. (2018). NeoRealismo: The new image in Italy 1932-19604. Milano: Admira Edizioni.

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