|Issue No. 18 "Memory"
|Pontito looks like many of the little towns in Tuscany, a
hilly region of western Italy. At the upper end of the town sits the church,
built a half-century before Columbus sailed for the New World. Seen from
a distance, the other stone buildings seem to spill out of the church and
down the hillside. The countryside surrounding the town was, only a generation
ago, made up of well-tended farmlands and orchards; many of these have fallen
into disarray as the agrarian economy that once supported Pontito has dwindled.
I've never been to Pontito. But I've come to know the town through the paintings
and drawings of Franco Magnani, a self-taught artist who lives near San
Francisco. In 1958, when he was 24 years old, Magnani left Pontito. Though
he did not return to Pontito until recently, nearly all of his paintings
are of his native village. Franco Magnani paints the scenes of his childhood--and
his works number more than 100--entirely from memory.
A Memory Artist
Last Month: "The Cloning Question: Is Making Clones Making Trouble?"
and "Mutant Fruit Flies Exhibit"
March 1997 Issue
About this Issue:
In the past year and half, we've explored a variety of different
topics from the Amazon to whirligigs and a lot in between.
This is "What's New's" first look at memory. The
museum has been exploring this topic for a number of years
and we had some great resources to work with. We hope you
enjoy the online version of "The Memory Artist."
The original article from which this story was adapted appeared
Magazine. "If You're Going to Rob a Bank, Wear a
Wig" was adapted from the "real version" on
the museum floor. If you have any comments, feel free to send
us mail. Check back June 15th for another issue.