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Mrs. Della Ragione, museum dreams come true

The Alberto della Ragione collection welcomes Raphael Mafai’s rendition of the collector’s mother. Antonietta Raphael Mafai’s sculpture of her top patron’s mother, Mrs. della Ragione, is now permanently exhibited on the second floor of Florence’s Twentieth-century Museum. It forms part of the Alberto della Ragione collection, a 250-piece gift, bequeathed to the city of Florence in 1969. Though many critics and art lovers of the time shunned Italian art produced in between the two World Wars because it was considered a reminder of Fascism, della Ragione believed it was important to collect (and exhibit) the eclectic works that artists were producing nationally. Antonietta Raphael Mafai was co-founder of the Scuola di Via Cavour (a movement named after the street where Raphael Mafai lived with her painter husband Mario Mafai); her art was representative of Italy’s artistic counter-culture that opposed the cannons of Mussolini’s regime.

Mrs. Della Ragione the eve before her public museum debut