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SLIM 2023 / Italian excellence: Illustrations for Italo Calvino


2023 Week of Italian Language in the World
Italian language and sustainability

Italian Excellence: Illustrations for Italo Calvino
October 19 – December 15, 2023
Italian Cultural Institute of Chicago

On the occasion of the 23rd edition of the Week of Italian Language in the World, the Italian Cultural Institute of Chicago presents the exhibition “Italian Excellence: Illustrations for Italo Calvino” curated by Giannino Stoppani, to celebrate the 100th anniversary of the writer’s birth. In response to the theme “Italian language and sustainability” the exhibition provides an insight into the Calvinian world and nature, through the contemporary interpretation of young illustrators from around the world.

This exhibition offers a valuable opportunity to engage with writings conceived by Italo Calvino for young readers, and fairy tales that provide an opportunity for shared adult/children reading time. It is also a significant medium for presenting children’s publishing to the world, a research-led space full of high-quality offerings, vital to the education of future generations. This edition offers visitors a new and international survey on one of the greatest interpreters of Italian literature, a man who turned words into images. The exhibition showcases a selection of international illustrators, who were selected among the five hundred plus participants to the Bologna Children’s Book Fair Contest dedicated to the theme “Illustrated Calvino.” The titles of the presented artworks were conceived to underline the link between the written texts and their illustrations, and form a visual itinerary through fairy tales, novels, adaptations, school texts, and new worlds.

Opening hours
Monday through Friday, 11:00am – 4:00pm
For group visits, email

Opening Event
Thursday, October 19 at 6:00pm CT

For the public opening of the exhibition “Italian Excellences: Illustrations for Italo Calvino,” Monica Seger,  Professor of Modern Languages & Literatures at William & Mary, in Virginia will lead a conversation on what she calls Calvino’s ecological clairvoyance in the context of more recent Italian stories of real-life environmental change, disaster and resilience. Read more

The program will be followed by a cocktail reception.

This program is part of Chi Siamo: (Re)presenting Italian Culture, the theme selected for 2023 by the Italian Cultural Institute of Chicago. This year-long series will explore the topics of representation and inclusion in Italian arts, with a specific focus on cross-cultural contamination in contemporary and modern Italy.

The Week of Italian Language in the World is a yearly worldwide celebration of the Italian language and creativity. This initiative was born in 2001 in cooperation with the Accademia della Crusca. It is organized during the third week of October by the Embassies, Consulates, and Italian Cultural Institutes, with the support of the Ministry of Culture (MiC), the Ministry of University and Research (MUR), the Government of Switzerland and all of the main partners for the promotion of the Italian language.