The photographic archive of Marcello Geppetti is completely preserved, at least from 1959, when the photographer started to work as freelance.
According to the variety of subjects and events recounted by Geppetti’s shots, it is possible to affirm that his archive tells us about the history of Italy from Fifties to Nineties, with a specific focus on the city of Rome. A sport section of the archive has been dispersed over the years, because of donations to friends and colleagues by Geppetti himself.
From the very beginning of his independent photographic activity, Marcello Geppetti developed and applied a method of archiving his negatives. They came to us inside small Kraft paper bags, with typed or handwritten notes by the photographer about the content of the services. From Geppetti’s method, we can evince a different logic of organising his work compared to today’s criteria: for instance, he gave not importance to some issues or personalities nowadays relevant.
More complex is our work on the diapositives, stored in boxes with more synthetic or sometimes absent notes. From the Eighties – after some newspapers and magazines requests – Geppetti flanked the color technique to the previous black and white.
More generally, the photographic film types found in the archive reflect the requests of the journals over the years: black and white 35 mm, medium size 6×6 cm, diapositive, and a small number of 6×12 negatives.
During the years, Geppetti himself extracted some shots considered commercially more valid. This is the beginning of the archiving system, organised with letters and key words: M (monographic); Extracts; Red Box. Just few days before his sudden passing, during the preparation of the important exhibition at Miller Gallery New York, Geppetti started to select his shots following an artistic criterion. From that moment, it starts a second phase of structuring the archive, continued after his death by his heirs and the dolceVita GALLERY staff.
Due to his sudden death, only a small number of vintage printing are in circulation.
About 80.000 photos have been scanned until today, and it is difficult to define the precise number of photos contained inside the archive. We approximate that number to one million.
In order to spread and enhance the knowledge of the archive and all its precious contents, we are trying to create a net among many of the photographers contemporary to Geppetti, hosting in dolceVita GALLERY their archives and testimonies.