A philosopher in the bank. An introduction to the Antonello Gerbi’s papers.
Antonello Gerbi (1904-1976) headed the Economic Research Department (Ufficio Studi) of Banca Commerciale Italiana from 1932 to 1938 and from 1948 to 1970 and was also a renown scholar of the history of ideas, among the most brilliant, and a pioneer and a pre-eminent commentator of Americana in Italy. To avoid the rigours mandated by racially oriented laws introduced in Italy in 1938, in that year Gerbi moved with his family to Lima, Peru, where he worked with a local bank that was controlled by Comit. Endowed with a multifaceted personality, Gerbi was an acute observer of the new media of his day such as photography, cinema and radio.
The Gerbis have recently donated Antonello Gerbi’s private files to the Historical Archives of Banca Intesa that have classed, cross-referenced and organized such material. Philosophical essays, published contributions to newspapers and magazines, general mail, photographs, pamphlets and paper cuttings, all constitute an organic body of original insight about the intellectual debate in Italy during fascism and the aftermath of World War II, and about the managing elite that Raffaele Mattioli selected, and about the private history of several Jewish families that the racial laws had tragically affected.
On 27 February 2007 the Milan University has celebrated the opening to researchers of the Gerbi Papers with a seminar having “Antonello Gerbi between the Old and the New World” as theme.
It is expected that the papers of this seminar will be published.