Writer and founder and leader of the Italian Futurist movement. Correspondence, writings, photographs, and printed matter
from Filippo Tommaso Marinetti's papers, documenting the history of the futurist movement from its beginning in the journal
Poesia, through World War I, and less comprehensively, through World War II and its aftermath.
Filippo Tommaso Marinetti, born in Alexandria in 1876, attended
secondary school and university in France, where he began his literary career.
After gaining some success as a poet, he founded and edited the journal
Poesia (1905), a forum in which the theories of futurism
rather quickly evolved. With "Fondazione e Manifesto del Futurismo," published
Le Figaro (1909), Marinetti launched what was arguably the
first 20th century avant-garde movement, anticipating many of the issues of Dada and
Surrealism. Like other avant-garde movements, futurism took the momentous
developments in science and industry as signaling a new historical era,
demanding correspondingly innovative art forms and language. Like other
avant-garde movements, futurism found a solution in collage, which Marinetti
called "parole in libertà" when applied to literary forms. Between 1909 and
1920, the period known as futurism's heroic phase, Marinetti energetically
promoted his own work, and that of fellow futurists, through numerous
manifestos, speeches, essays, meetings, performances and publications.
Following WWI, in which he served, Marinetti became an active member of the
fascist party; on April 15, 1919, he and Ferruccio Vecchi led the "battle" of
piazza Mercanti against socialists, communists, and anarchists, which was
Italian fascism's first decisive victory. In 1929 he was elected to the Academy
of Italy. Throughout the 1920s and 30s and until his death in 1944, Marinetti
sought to reconcile the theories of futurism with the ideology of state fascism
and to serve as impresario for both.