Meeting Place: "Avant-garde Artists and the Noble Art of Escape"
Meeting Place: "Avant-garde Artists and the Noble Art of Escape"

Avant-garde Artists and the Noble Art of Escape

with Giovanna Brambilla

Many of the main figures in the avant-garde were forced to flee to the United States during World War II. Each story is unique and different, as each artist experienced their overseas exile differently. Marc Chagall never warmed to the idea of abandoning France, so much so that he never spoke English and returned to Paris as soon as he could. Others, especially those who had taught at the Bauhaus, like Joseph Albers and László Maholy-Nagy, were enthusiastic about the new possibilities the United States could offer. For Max Ernst, who had made it to the United States thanks to his then wife, art patron Peggy Guggenheim, it was an intense and fruitful period of artistic production, during which he experimented different techniques like pouring.

Through seminal works, the lecture will cover touching stories about the courage, fragility, experimentation, and loneliness of artists who, during the twentieth century, searched for a space and place where they could express themselves.

Giovanna Brambilla is an art historian and an expert in cultural heritage education and mediation. Her main focus is the relationship between museums and the public, particularly accessibility and inclusion. After graduating from university, she worked for a year as a volunteer researcher at the British Museum, London, before completing postgraduate courses in General and Museum Education at Roma Tre University, in Communication and Intercultural Mediation at the University of Bergamo, in Art History at the University of Milan (with a scholarship), and in Communication in School Settings at the University of Siena. From 1996 to 2022 she was the head of the Education Department at GAMeC, the Galleria d’Arte Moderna e Contemporanea, Bergamo. She is currently self-employed and works with the Direzione regionale Musei Lombardia as the Head of Local Projects and Audience Development. She is also a member of the Knowledge Community of the Cultural Welfare Center, Turin, focusing on museums, hospitality, and wellbeing. Her most recent publications include, ldiqua. Immagini per chi resta (2023), Mettere al mondo il mondo: Immagini per una rinascita (2021), and Inferni: Parole e immagini di un’umanità al confine (2020).


  • Registration required / Members only
  • on Zoom