Fondazione Biblioteca Europea di Informazione e Cultura (BEIC) - Fondo Monti
The Biblioteca Europea di Informazione e Cultura (BEIC – European Library of Information and Culture) is a new concept library in Italy, inspired by the structure of some of the major libraries around the world. The new Library sets out to combine, with a consistent programme of cultural artefact collection and organisation, the character of a large public library with that of a European research library, fulfilling the roles of classic and university libraries, as well as meeting the needs of interdisciplinary research. The Library has been set up, and is managed, by the Fondazione Biblioteca Europea di Informazione e Cultura (a participatory foundation, established on 6 February 2004) with the goal of promoting, establishing and spreading information about culture and art for educational purposes. The Foundation works to plan, support and promote projects and events regarding cultural and social happenings, assets and expressions in the field of cultural heritage, and the worlds of reading and multimedia.
On 12 February 2008, the BEIC Foundation finalised the purchase of the Paolo Monti Estate, which includes the photographic archive and Library. The Photographic Archive (of 223,000 negatives, 12,244 prints and 790 chemigrams) is held at the Civico Archivio Fotografico del Comune di Milano (Civic Photographic Archive of the Municipality of Milan) which has catalogued the entire collection (curated by Silvia Paoli, curator of the Civic Photographic Archive, and Pierangelo Cavanna). It is a collection of extraordinary beauty regarding people, places and monuments, photos that depict Italian life between 1943 and 1982. The collection is also a testament to how Paolo Monti constantly honed his artwork and ability to capture both clearly apparent features and hidden secrets, with a wealth of meaning and a formal elegance that reserves surprises and emotion.
The Library of Paolo Monti (composed of about 1000 pieces, including monographs and periodicals) is held at the Civic Photographic Archive and has been catalogued in the National Library Service by the BEIC Foundation.
The selection presented here comprises some prints with floral motifs made for la Rinascente and 31 photographs dated 1958 and 1966, which reveal the window displays and outside area of the Rinascente store of the Piazza Duomo in Milan.