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This is not an Italian building…or is it?

Renzo Piano’s work for the Chicago Art Institute reveals his direct connection to the classical tradition. The artistic contributions of Italian arts to the world go well beyond the legacy of the timeless masterpieces of the Renaissance Masters, the elegance of Baroque music, and the artistic power of opera. That tradition is alive and prospering all around us.

Italian Culture's Global Influence

Languages and cultures indeed belong to specific geographic areas, but their presence and influence travel around the world. The image to the right depicts the Modern Wing of the Art Institute of Chicago, designed by Renzo Piano, the world-renowned architect from Genoa, Italy. His work in the United States includes iconic landmarks such as the New York Times Building and the Morgan Library in New York, the Los Angeles County Museum of Art Resnick Pavilion, the Harvard Art Museum, and the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum Expansion in Boston. Piano is also the mind behind many other iconic buildings in the US and around the world, from Paris’ Centre George Pompidou to the London Bridge Tower, to numerous other structures in Tokyo, Shanghai, Sydney, New Caledonia, and, of course, all over Italy and Europe.

Piano’s work for the Chicago Art Institute is just one example of how the artistic contributions of Italian arts to the world go well beyond the legacy of the timeless masterpieces of the Renaissance Masters and their tradition. That tradition is indeed alive and present in the definitively modern work of fashion and industrial designers, architects and engineers. This daily relationship with beauty is what makes Italian style a trademark of elegance and refined taste cherished by the most prestigious international institutions and individuals the world over. That creative spirit born from a centuries-old tradition is perhaps the most powerful driving force behind Italy’s economy today, Italy’s most recognizable trade mark in the international community, and an inexhaustible reservoir of ideas and inspiration that is waiting to reveal its secrets to young and curious minds.