Oral Histories

Interview of Manfredo Tafuri

Historian, architect, and critic with a focus on Italian Renaissance architecture.
La storia come progetto (History as Project): Manfredo Tafuri
Art History - Oral Documentation Project
Biographical Note:
Historian, architect, and critic with a focus on Italian Renaissance architecture.
Passerini, Luisa
Tafuri, Manfredo
Persons Present:
Tafuri and Passerini.
Place Conducted:
Apartment of a friend of Tafuri's in Venice, Italy.
Supporting Documents:
Records relating to the interview are located in the office of the UCLA Library's Center for Oral History Research.
Interviewer Background and Preparation:
The interview was conducted by Luisa Passerini, Associate Professor of "Metodologia della ricerca storica", University of Turin; Ph.D., Philosophy and History, University of Turin.This is one in a series of interviews conducted under the joint auspices of the Getty Center for the History of Art and the Humanities and the UCLA Oral History Program to examine the development of art history as a professional discipline. Tafuri was one of several interviewees selected to discuss intellectual developments in Italy. Maria Perosino helped Passerini conduct research on the historical background.
Processing of Interview:
M. Cristina Noè, research associate, edited the interview. She checked the interview against the original tape recordings, edited for punctuation, paragraphing, and spelling, and verified proper names. Words and phrases inserted by the editor have been bracketed. Tafuri was given an opportunity to review the transcript but made no corrections or additions.
3.5 hrs.
Regents of the University of California, UCLA Library.
Series Statement:
The interviews in the series Art History - Oral Documentation Project are part of a cooperative venture between the Oral History Program and the Getty Center for the History of Art and the Humanities, documents a generation of scholars who developed and elaborated paradigms of art history established in the late nineteenth century to forge a twentieth-century discipline.
Attends University of Rome; studies history, philosophy, and psychoanalysis; joins Socialist Party; student occupation of the universities in 1963; formation of the center-left Associazione Urbanisti Architetti in 1960-61; participates in riots with radicals and Marxists; starts psychoanalytical treatments; becomes assistant professor at the University of Palermo; pursues the idea of detaching the work of art from history and society; a new conception of the history of architecture; the Venice congress on socialism and the new ideology in 1971; proposes new approaches to academic education; the academic revolution of 1968; intellectual activities in Italy in the 1960s and 1970s; religious education; mystic experiences in Japan; Rudolf Wittkower; Contropiano; German and Russian historians; influence of communism on art and architecture during the 1970s; Enrico Berlinguer; seminars at the Istituto Universitario di Architettura, Venice; experiments with new teaching techniques; the importance of history in architecture schools.
The subsequent material are in Italian and English.