Archivio della Scuola Romana

In 1983 a group of intellectuals and artists, including Miriam Mafai, Netta Vespignani, Maurizio Fagiolo dell’Arco, Antonello Trombadori and Alberto Ziveri, decided to found the “Archivio della Scuola Romana” association, dedicated to increasing appreciation for an important cultural period that until then, had been mostly overlooked – the artistic life of Rome that embraced the two world wars. Those were years in which many pictorial and sculptural trends became established, including the so-called “Valori Plastici” and the la “ Scuola di via Cavour”, and ranged from the Tonalism of the 1930s to the end of the period in question, WWII  itself, also encompassed realism and expressionism. 

Right from its earliest days, the “Archvio” attracted the active participation of the protagonists of the period who were still alive – artists, gallerists and intellectuals who donated documentary materials and above all, their personal recollections.  The heirs of those concerned have also played an important role in building a solid foundation to the archives.

Over the years, the archives have grown even bigger thanks to the efforts of scholars and researchers like Valerio Rivosecchi, Francesca Romana Morelli, Carolina Marconi and Isabella Montesi, whose investigative efforts in Italian and foreign libraries and public and private archives mean that the Archivio della Scuola Romana is now the most important point of reference for anyone with an interest in this period of the history of art.

In its 23 years of existence, the “Archive” has gathered together some 10,000 items – many of which have never been seen until now - that include catalogues, books and monographs, most of the specialist publications and magazines of the period as well as the correspondence, diaries and autographs of the artists and people close to them.  The important collection of photographs that comprises period originals and images of the actual works cannot be overlooked either.  From the very beginning, all materials have been made available to both Italian and foreign academics as well as students working on their theses.

The focus of all the “Archives’” activities is the realization of important texts from the period, beginning with the most fundamental, namely  the Scuola romana, artisti tra le due guerre, overseen by Maurizio Fagiolo dell’Arco (1986) and monographs on individual artists (Alberto Ziveri, Mario Mafai, Antonio Donghi and Scipione), as well as organizing exhibitions in Italy and abroad such as the Scuola Romana  hosted at the Royal Palace in Milan in 1988, Roma anni Venti, pittura, scultura, arti applicate  at the Palazzo Rondinini alla Rotonda in Rome in 1990; Roma sotto le stelle del ’44  at Rome’s Palazzo delle Esposizioni in 1994); Ecole romaine 1925-1945  at the Pavillon des Arts in Paris in 1997, Mario Mafai. Una calma febbre di colori at Rome’s Palazzo Venezia in 2004; Casa Mafai, da Via Cavour a Parigi 1925-1933  at the Santa Giulia Museum in Brescia in 2005.

All of the “Archives’” material was gifted to Rome City Council in 2006 and is now kept in the Casino dei Principi in Villa Torlonia in collaboration with the Roman School Museum in the Casino Nobile of the same Villa.
The current location of the “Archives” means that they finally have an institutional home and help round out and complete the Museum.
The rich documentation about the artists – and some of their contemporaries - represented in the museum’s collection - is still being organized and is still growing, but some 5,000 items have already been catalogued with OPAC / SBN access.

The Archives/Library receives donations from: the  Archivio della Scuola Romana Association, Carlo Francesco Bertoletti, Claudio Bonichi (for Scipione), Olga & Guglielmo Capogrossi, Caterina & Guenda Castellucci, Vera & Maria Letizia Cavalli, Mario Cavatorta, Francesco Di Cocco, Isabella Drei, Pericle Fazzini, Ninetta Ferrazzi, Gustavo & Luciana Francalancia, Giuliana Fusari (for Antonio Donghi), Luciana Gentilini, Vera Gerardi, Romeo Lucchese,  Miriam, Giulia, Simona Mafai, Rolando Monti, Franco Muzzi (for Corrado Cagli), Eugenia & Luciano Oppo, Adriana Pincherle, Pierluigi & Antonio Pirandello, Mimì Quilici Buzzacchi, Mario Rivosecchi, Dario Sabatello, Mario Socrate, Antonello & Donatella Trombadori and Alberto Ziveri.

Warning: In accordance with government measures (art. 3 of Italian Law 105/2021) planned for all Italian places of culture as of 6 August 2021, it is compulsory for users entering the library to show their Covid 19, Green Pass certificate, accompanied by a valid identity document. The provisions do not apply to children under the age of 12 or to persons exempt on the basis of appropriate medical certification.


Access to the Roman School Archives:
In order to comply with the security measures for the prevention of Covid-19, access to the Archive is permitted only by telephone appointment (tel. 06 44252109; 06 671071839) or by sending an email ( or 
Access is permitted on Tuesdays only, from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., until further notice.
Any further requirements must be agreed with the Archives staff, in order to maintain the parameters imposed by the anti-Covid preventive measures.
No more than one visitor is allowed in the same room at a time.