1950s Italian Ethnographic Photographs Published

On November 16, 2008 Il Saggiatore (Milan) published a book of ethnographic photos made by Alan Lomax during his 1954-55 fieldwork in Italy. Edited by Goffredo Plastino, the book is entitled L’anno più felice della mia vita (The Happiest Year of My Life) and contains over 120 photographs selected from a collection of 1700-plus. The images are accompanied by excerpts from Lomax’s notebooks and correspondence and from a radio series on Italian folk music produced by Lomax for the BBC.

The volume includes a Foreword by Martin Scorsese and Anna Lomax Wood’s memories of her childhood experiences with her father in Italy. Goffredo Plastino’s full-length monograph provides a detailed account of Lomax’s Italian research and its impact on Italian ethnomusicology and popular culture – for example the use of the recordings in the soundtrack of the Pier Paolo Pasolini’s Decamaron.

Originally posted: November 1, 2008