Niamh Cullen

Love, Italian Style

The idea of the ‘Latin lover’ is one of the most familiar images of Italians and Italian culture. This exhibition, curated by Dr Niamh Cullen (University College Dublin) aims to uncover the reality behind the stereotype, exploring how ideas about courtship, love and marriage in Italy were changing in the 1950s and 1960s.

Dr Niamh Cullen

Love, Italian Style: Changing Customs and Ideas of Marriage and Love in Italy, 1945-1974 is an exhibition currently running in the Italian Cultural Institute (until 22 May). The curator of the exhibition, Dr Niamh Cullen, spoke to History Hub about the origins of the exhibition and the ideas behind it.

About the Exhibition
The idea of the ‘Latin lover’ is one of the most familiar images of Italians and Italian culture. This exhibition, curated by Dr Niamh Cullen (University College Dublin) aims to uncover the reality behind the stereotype, exploring how ideas about courtship, love and marriage in Italy were changing in the 1950s and 1960s through the lens of popular magazines. The mass media was expanding rapidly in these years, popular magazines both encouraged and reflected social change, making them the ideal material for charting changing images and ideas of love. The economic miracle of the late 1950s and 1960s also transformed Italian society, prompting widespread migration to the cities and the growth of a mass consumer society. The role of the family in Italian society, gender roles and relations were also changing, and as they did so, definitions of love and marriage themselves were being transformed.

The exhibition is funded by an Irish Research Council New Foundations grant and supported by the Italian Cultural Institute, Dublin.

Niamh Cullen
Niamh Cullen is an Irish Research Council CARA mobility fellow in the School of History and Archives, University College Dublin. Her research is concerned with the society and culture of modern and contemporary Italy and she is currently writing a book entitled Love, Honour and Jealousy: Redefining Marriage in Italy, 1945-1974. She blogs about her research at niamhcullen.wordpress.com and tweets from @niamhanncullen.

Header image: Dr Niamh Cullen at ‘Love, Italian Style’ (Liffey).