la Gondola

The Historical Archive

Paolo Monti | Album II° - Cose Viste, 1949


...from the Historical Archive of C. F. La Gondola

Years '50 - '70 Authors

Basaldella Collection

Despite recurrent crises due to factors that destabilised the management of the Circolo la Gondola, it has never ceased practising its institutional activity over these years: the diffusion of photography in all its forms.

Once the institutional capacity was determined taking the form of a judicial body of association and social promotion the Circolo has operated with enthusiasm and commitment in various directions. The most important of these was the creation of its Photographic Archive.

Starting with only a few hundred images - the historical heritage of the Circolo - some ten years ago we began to recuperate photographic archives of ex-members and third parties, which would otherwise have been dispersed if not destroyed.

Today, due to a capillary and insistent methodology, the Historical Archive of the Gondola is proud of its 13,000 vintage prints which include some of the most significant names in Italian photography from the post-war to the present: other than ex-members, we have 2,000 prints by Paolo Monti, the entire archives of Sergio Del Pero, Giorgio Giacobbi, Stefano Boscolo, Ennio Puntin Gognan, Carlo Trois, Laura Martinelli Stroili, as well as numerous prints by Gianni Berengo Gardin, Fulvio Roiter, Bepi Bruno, Elio Ciol and Carlo Bevilacqua.

Works by Mario Giacomelli, Giorgio Lotti, Piergiorgio Branzi, Alfredo Camisa, Luigi Ghirri, Mario Cattaneo, Ernesto Fantozzi, Francesco Cito, Pino Guidolotti, Nino Migliori, Giuseppe Pino, Mario Lasalandra and many others are also included.

The Archive, held at the Museo Fortuny, is nearly entirely digitalised and mostly visible on the Gondola website. Iconographic collections aside, the Gondola also has a small but important library collection and a rich social documentation.

Considered one of the best archives in our country for its photographic quality and historic density, it is visited by scholars, those who are passionate about photography and in particular by students for their research.

Exhibitions have begun again and increased. Over the last ten years we have hosted more than thirty, mostly thematic, exhibitions based both on Members’ unpublished photographs and images from the Historic Archives. At times aspects of the problematic realities of Venice were the object of the show: the Arsenale, the territorial transformations, the connection between the city and the water, its element/pivot, the memory of the past. At others, La Gondola focused on the evolution of photographic philosophies with recent titles such as “0/24 – quotidian connections” (2006), “Traces of the present – a reflection on contemporaneity” (2007), “Human, being” (2008). These exclude any essential requirement of the concept of “beauty” or virtuous intentions, suggesting instead the uncertainty and ambiguity of contemporary photography.