INA. Arte del manifesto. 90 anni di storia sociale

Designed and realised for the 90th anniversary of INA’s activity, Arte del Manifesto (INA: Art of the poster: 90 years of social history) illustrates the development of INA’s (National Insurance Institute) communication from its origins, through images of posters, calendars, stamps and games. Connecting ideally with Generali: tradizione di immagine (Generali: Tradition of Image), which was published to celebrate the first hundred years of life of Assicurazioni Generali’s “Bollettino”, the two volumes shed light on insurance communication with the example of two historical companies: INA and Assicurazioni Generali.

The Istituto Nazionale delle Assicurazioni was founded in 1912, in the golden age of Art Nouveau, when the poster as a means of communication becomes art. The rural theme, captured by illustrators of the time, was long the protagonist of collective imagination, perfect for the popular and national vocation connected with the origins of INA; for this reason, the symbol image is the “sower”, an expression of fertility, strength, resistance and patience, all traits which are necessary for the success of both sowing and insurance investment. INA thus became the Company of the Sower, just as Generali was the Company of the Lion and Milano the Company of the Anchor.

The first section of the volume illustrates the incisive operation of institutional image, while the subsequent section is dedicated to the insurance business and was developed with particular attention to product advertising. Updating of communication also became necessary due to expansion of the insurance business in the non-life insurance branch with the Assitalia-Le Assicurazioni d’Italia and Fiume subsidiaries, set up following reorganisation of the insurance market in 1923.

In a predominantly agricultural economy, Assitalia in particular emphasised the propaganda of the regime with evocative subjects of rural life, calling on collaboration with artists of the calibre of Busi, Boccasile, Capizzano, Ballaster and Mosca.

The images come from posters and documents in the INA-Assitalia Historical Archive, supplemented by posters from the Salce Collection of the Treviso Civic Museum and, to use the words of editorial manager Armando Zimolo, they provide «a valuable contribution to preservation of the historical memory of communication in insurance and with that of the very history of the development of pensions in Italy».

INA. Arte del manifesto. 90 anni di storia sociale / [introductory essays by Rita Bernini … et al.!
Trieste: Editorial Generali, [2002]