The publishing house Electa, a historic protagonist on the Italian art and museum scene, is set to grow with the acquisition of Abscondita, the refined Milanese publisher of the writings of artists and art literature.
Electa, founded in 1945 by the insight of the art historian Bernard Berenson, over time has added to its role as publisher, specializing in architecture and the visual arts, activities related to the organization of exhibition events, the management of additional services for museums – including bookshops nationwide – and finally the creation of merchandising lines designed to the finest national and international standards.
Its catalogue, which boasts a continuity unmatched in volumes on art and architecture for scientific accuracy, style and wealth of illustrations, now includes the valuable series of timeless books published by Abscondita in their black covers: previously unpublished and often unavailable texts, they bring together the thoughts and reflections of painters, sculptors and architects accompanied by critical essays of fundamental importance.
These are reference works for art historians, those with inquiring minds and a desire for knowledge, and all who love the classics and literature in general.
For Abscondita, entry into Electa represents an opportunity based on the certainty that the independence, guidelines and spirit of Abscondita will not only be preserved, but will receive a new impulse and impetus.
The acquisition of Abscondita is one of Electa’s innovations for 2020.
75 years since its foundation, the publishing house regains its original name. And on January 1, 2020 Electa S.p.A. will be established, a company headed by Antonio Porro, vice president and managing director of Mondadori Libri.
Rosanna Cappelli takes over as managing director and becomes President of Abscondita.
“The purpose is to reinforce the identity of a distinguished brand that has been active for decades in the visual arts and cultural heritage sector, not only through the catalogues it publishes, with choices that enable readers to discover or rediscover the adventurous worlds of research, literature and the making of art, without neglecting the graphic and typographic experiments of the single books.” So Rosanna Cappelli, managing director of Electa S.p.A.
An archaeologist, a graduate from Perugia with a thesis on the figurative ideology of the Augustan age, Rosanna Cappelli joined Electa in 2001 to take over the management, development and coordination of the Cultural Heritage sector. In 2010 she became general manager of the Art, Exhibitions and Museums division of the publishing house.
Her scientific activities have been followed by an interest in the protection of the heritage and the practices of management and enhancement of the value of the cultural assets, a subject to which she has devoted several publications.
Cappelli has been a member of the MIBAC commission for the activities of Valorization of the Cultural Heritage and has taken part in numerous conferences and Masters of specialization in Italian universities.
Under her direction, Electa continues with a strong sense of purpose to engage in the production of exhibitions, publication of catalogues and management of services for museums. These include the Parco Archeologico del Colosseo, the Museo Nazionale Romano, the Museo e Real Bosco di Capodimonte and the MANN in Naples, and the Museo del Novecento in Milan, where the publishing house is present in various capacities.
Founded in 1999 by the parent company SE thanks to an idea of the editorial director Carlo Corsi and already distributed by the Mondadori Group, Abscondita aims to spread artistic studies, also in the light of the interest of an increasingly broad public that visits exhibitions and museums.
The catalogue is divided into five series: CARTE D’ARTISTI (some 200 titles), MINIATURE (some 120 titles), AESTHETICA (60 volumes) with the names of great Italian twentieth-century artists, such as Boccioni, de Chirico, Morandi, Sironi and international figures such as Picasso, Kandinsky, Hopper, Kahlo and Duchamp, as well as illustrious critics such as Longhi, Clair, Chastel, Panofsky and Berenson.
The first, CARTE D’ARTISTI (artists’ papers), established as a series devoted to the thoughts and memories of artists, has opened over time to critical texts.
MINIATURE continues along the lines already traced in the major series with the only difference that it hosts short texts.
As for AESTHETICA, the publisher wished to create a series of studies dealing with much more than art by hosting famous critics such as Warburg, Bloom, Zambrano, Praz and Macchia. In recent years, two lines of illustrated books have been added: MNEMOSYNE and ALBUM (with 20 and 15 titles respectively), featuring artists such as Warhol, Dalí and Modigliani, alongside great photographers such as Man Ray, Tina Modotti, Nadar and Sander.