Georgina Masson: 1912-1980
Edited by Alessandra Capodiferro and Cornelia Lauf. Essays by Milton Gendel, Marella Caracciolo, Elizabeth Minchilli and Carolina Vincenti.
Georgina Masson is the literary pseudonym of Marion Johnson (1912-1980), “Babs” to her friends. An English citizen, Johnson was born in the Far East and lived and traveled in her youth throughout Africa, Europe and Asia. She settled in Rome in the early 1940s and remained in Italy until her return to England in 1978. A photographer and historian of architecture from ancient Rome to medieval Sicily, Masson was a profound and passionate connoisseur of Rome. Her celebrated Companion Guide to Rome, first published in 1965, and numerous photographic guides reveal her indefatigable curiosity and lively interests. The author of many studies and biographies, she devoted much effort to a study of Rome and Italian architecture, with particular attention to villas and gardens. As an expert on this subject matter, she published her own photographs in major publications such as Italian Villas and Palaces and Italian Villas and Gardens, published in 1959 and 1961 respectively. In Rome, she assiduously frequented the American Academy, to which she bequeathed her legacy of a lifetime of negatives. A veritable treasure trove, the photographs stem from the 1950s through the 70s--a selection of them is reproduced here.