Laura Moure Cecchini

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Laura Moure Cecchini

Assistant Professor of Art and Art History

Department/Office Information

Art and Art History
311 Little Hall



PhD, Art, Art History, and Visual Studies, Duke University (Durham, North Carolina), 2016.

MPhil, Philosophy, Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México (Mexico City), 2009

BA, Philosophy, Universidad Iberoamericana (Mexico City), 2007

Transatlantic Avant-Gardes, Global Modernisms, Italian Art of the 19th and 20th centuries, Latin American Modernism, Visual Culture of Fascism, Art and Nationalism, Exhibition History, Historiography of Art History.

My research focuses on modernism in a global and comparative perspective, with a particular focus on artistic exchanges between Europe, Latin America, and the United States. Addressing cultural, historical, and geographical differences, I study the avant-garde and modernism as a transnational but diverse phenomenon with multiple temporalities and geographic manifestations. Through an analysis of art practices and criticism, collections and exhibitions, I study modern visual culture in relation to the social and political upheavals that marked the nineteenth and twentieth centuries.

In my first book I studied the Baroque as a travelling concept debated in multiple languages and reframed in distinct ways by later artists and critics. Baroquemania: Italian Visual Culture and the Construction of National Identity, 1898–1945 (Manchester University Press, 2022: charts how from the fin-de-siècle to the fall of the fascist regime prominent artists, writers, philosophers, and ideologues — such as Gabriele D’Annunzio, Roberto Longhi, Giorgio de Chirico, Benedetto Croce, and Lucio Fontana, among others— reimagined the Baroque as an anti-classical impulse that helped construct new regional and national aesthetics and identities in Italy.

I am now at work on two new book projects. The first, Fascist Crossings: Interwar Art between Italy and Argentina, analyzes how Italian fascism looked like from South America, and in turn, how Argentine fascism was visualized in Italy. This project challenges scholarship on Latin American modernism, which tends to overlook its relationship with Italy, and that on Italian fascism, which often frames Latin Americans as passive recipients rather than active producers of fascist ideology. My book aspires to cast new light on the thorny entanglements of Italian and Argentine visual culture and diplomacy in the interwar period, outlining a South-South geography of fascist art.

My other book project, Ghosts of Empire: The Material Debris of the Fascist Occupation of Ethiopia probes the social imaginary of colonial mass culture –interwar commodities that several decades after the collapse of the Italian empire can still be found in private homes, thrift stores, and flea markets in Italy and its former colonies. My study addresses the imbrication of capitalism and colonialism, fascist ideology and lived experience. I use methodologies of material culture studies to probe mass-produced objects (lamps, board games, photo albums, furniture, etc.) that normalized colonialism at a turning point for the regime. I am currently co-editing a special issue of Modern Italy on this topic; Visualizing Italian Colonial Culture: Mass-Produced Images and Objects, 1882-1960 will come out in November 2022.


2022   Baroquemania: Italian Visual Culture and the Construction of National Identity, 1898–1945 (Manchester University Press):

Journal Articles

2021    “Aztec Cubists Between Paris and New York: Diego Rivera, Marius de Zayas, and the Reception of Mexican Antiquities in the 1910s,” Modernism/modernity, 28, n. 2: 251-286.

2020    “Conspicuously Inconspicuous: Federico Baronello’s EUR_Libya and the Photographic Memory of Italian Colonialism,” Third Text, 166, 34, n. 3, September 2020: 1-21

2020 “The Via della Conciliazione (Road of Reconciliation): Fascist Urbanism and the De-Urbanization of the Working Class in Interwar Rome,” Selva: A Journal of the History of Art, thematic issue on “Reactionary Art Histories,”

2020    “1930: Margherita Sarfatti entre Buenos Aires, Milán y Roma,” MODOS-História da Arte: modos de ver, exibir e compreender, special issue on “Intersecções do exílio: redes artísticas transnacionais, associações e colaborações,” 4, 1, 206-223.

2020    “Positively the only person who is really interested in the show”: Romeo Toninelli collector and diplomat between Milan and New York,” Italian Modern Art, 3, 1-30.

2019   “Baroque Futurism: Roberto Longhi, the Seventeenth Century, and the Avant-Garde,” The Art Bulletin, June 2019, 29-53.

2016   “The “Mostra del Quarantennio” and the Canon of Modern Art at the Venice Biennale in the Interwar Period," Il Capitale Culturale, Studies on the Value of Cultural Heritage  "Museums and Exhibitions between WWI and WWII" 14: 223-252 

2016   “The Nave Italia and the Politics of Latinità: Art, Commerce, and Cultural Colonization in the Early Days of Fascism,” Italian Studies 71 (November 2016)

2014   “Vincenzo Agnetti and the Poetics of Zeroing,” Art and Documentation (Sztuka i Dokumentacja) 10: 39-44.

2014  “Photodynamism and Vortography: The Futurist Anti-Portraits of Anton Giulio Bragaglia and Alvin Langdon Coburn,” International Yearbook of Futurism Studies: 477-503.

Book Chapters

2021    “Barocco classico: il Seicento e il ritorno all’ordine in Italia intorno al 1922,” Terms of Style in Art History-Quaderni della Bibliotheca Hertziana, edited by Valerie Kobi (Rome: Campisano Editori), 125-147

2020    ‘Imitators of the Imitators?: World Impressionisms at the Venice Biennale, 1895-1948,” Writing Impressionism Into Art History, ed. by Alexis Clark and Frances Fowle (Yale University Press)

2019    “Decadence and the Visual Arts,” Cambridge Cultural Concepts-Decadence, ed. by Jane Desmarais and David Weir (London-New York: Cambridge University Press), 133-155.

2018   “A House No Longer Divided: Patronage, Pluralism and Creative Freedom In Italian Pre- And Postwar Art,” Postwar Italian Art History Today: Untying ‘the Knot’, ed. by Sharon Hecker and Marin Sullivan (London: Bloomsbury Press), 173-188.                     

2011  “Indias pin-up: la indígena como objeto erótico en los calendarios de los años ’40-‘50,” Los sueños de una nación. Un año después 2011 (Mexico City: Instituto Nacional de Bellas Artes:), 43-55.

Book Reviews

2022   “The Multiple Futures of the Fascist Past,” review of The Routledge Companion to Italian Fascist Architecture (edited by Kay Bea Jones and Stephanie Pilat, Routledge, 2020), for Architectural Histories
2020   “The Elusive Modern Baroque,” Review essay on: Jane Stevenson, Baroque between the Wars: Alternative Style in the Arts, 1918-1939 (Oxford University Press, 2018), and Lucia Simonato, Bernini scultore. Il difficile dialogo con la modernità (Electa, 2018), for Art History 43, 3 (June 2020): 654-661.

2019    Review of Michael Tymkiw, Nazi Exhibition Design and Modernism (University of Minnesota Press, 2018), for Journal of Curatorial Studies 8, 2 (December 2019), 286-290

2018    Review of "International Yearbook of Futurist Studies- Vol.7: Latin America," Modernism/modernity

Digital Projects

2015-2017  "Portrait of a City- Jacopo de' Barbari's View of Venice," Nasher Museum of Art at Duke University and Minneapolis Institute of Art

2014-2017  "Venice Interactive Visual Atlas" (VIVA), Wired! Group, Duke University

2020             Lauro De Bosis Postdoctoral Fellowship, Harvard University

2019             Picker Research Fellowship, Colgate University

2019             Cesare Barbieri Endowment Grant in Modern Italian History, Trinity College

2018             Académie de France à Rome – Villa Médicis, Summer Research Residency

2018             National Endowment for the Humanities, Summer Stipend

2017             Research and Publication Grant, Italian Art Society

2015             International Research Fellowship, CIMA Center for Italian Modern Art

2015             Research Fellowship, The Wolfsonian- Florida International University

2014-2015   James B. Duke International Research Fellowship, Duke University

2010             Norman Sverdlin Prize for Best Master Thesis in Philosophy, UNAM

Photography and Political Conflict

Visual Culture of Global Fascism

Challenges of Modernity – University Core Curriculum

Modernism on Display: Exhibiting Modern Art 1855-1960

Transatlantic Avantgardes 1880-1920

Introduction to Art History: What is Modern Art?

Cosmopolitan Modernisms 1920-1960

Latin American Modernism