Betty Woodman's trip to Fiesole, Italy, 1951-52: From the Archives...

L to R: Images 1-4: All from Betty Woodman’s first trip to Fiesole, near Florence, Italy, 1951-52 / Soggiorno degli Stranieri in Italia ("Foreigner's Stay in Italy”) for Betty Woodman, 1951.

Betty Woodman first traveled to Italy in 1951, on the suggestion of her friends Grace and John Tagliabue who invited her to join them there. She spent the year in Fiesole, renting a room on a hillside overlooking Florence and its Duomo and working in a pottery studio owned by painter Giorgio Ferrero and sculptor Lionello Fallacara. "It was amazing,” she recounted in a 2017 interview in Purple Magazine. "They didn’t know how to make ceramics at all. But it was after the war, and everything was possible. They thought there was a market for ceramics. I just went and knocked at their door and said, 'Can I work here?' and they said, ‘Sure.' I had just finished school and knew everything, the way you do when you finish school. But they weren’t following the rules! That was a very important lesson: rules are there to be broken.”

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