Palma Bucarelli (1910-1998)

Palma Bucarelli was born in Rome on 16th March 1910.

He lived a rather nomadic childhood, following his father, Joseph, who was an official at the state prefecture. To her mother, Ester Loteta Clori, however, she will be indebted for the inclinations toward art, elegance and fashion, which she will develop over the years.

A graduate in art history, she passed the public competition for the Ministry of National Education as an inspector of Antiquities and Fine Arts at just 23 years of age.

She began working at the Galleria Borghese (1933-36), before being transferred for a time to Naples and returning to Rome in 1939 to the National Gallery of Modern and Contemporary Art as inspector. From 1941, he assumed the role of superintendent, leading the Gallery with passionate commitment, for more than thirty years, until 1975.

He spent the early period there in an effort to secure as many works as possible from the bombardment of the ongoing war. But only once the war conflict was over would his executive profile begin to emerge, with his tastes leaning toward abstractionism and informal art. The 1950s were, in fact, those of the most celebrated exhibitions, from Picasso to Pollock, Mondrian to Burri, which earned her great success and acclaim, but at the same time also numerous disapprovals, both on the cultural and managerial levels.

However, with the pride and confident manner that characterized her persona, Bucarelli coped with these criticisms, turning the 1960s into those of her ultimate success: recognized and appreciated internationally, this would give her the impetus for a renewed openness to the artistic world.

In 1972 she also received the Légion d’Honneur and became an Academician of St. Luke’s, while in 1975 she was appointed Grand Officer of the Republic.

Throughout her life she would be romantically linked to journalist Paolo Monelli for 48 years until his passing in 1984.

Palma Bucarelli’s name is inextricably linked to that of the National Gallery, as she had the ability to hold a managerial role in it with extreme wisdom and intuition, with the foresight of someone who conceived the museum as a place of aggregation in which to immerse oneself in the discovery of art-a museum vision that was ahead of its time and which is, even today, profoundly acknowledged to her.

He died in Rome on 25th July 1998.

You can look up the birth certificate on the Ancestors Portal: Archivio di Stato di Roma > Stato civile italian > Roma > 1910

The original is kept at the State Archives of Rome.

Her personal archive was donated by her to the Central State Archives in 1998, where it is still kept today.

Archivio di Stato di Roma > Stato civile italiano > Roma > 1910
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