Filippo Tommaso Marinetti, born in Alexandria in 1876, attended secondary school and university in France, where he began his literary career. After gaining some success as a poet, he founded and edited the journal Poesia (1905), a forum in which the theories of Futurism rather quickly evolved. With "Fondazione e Manifesto del Futurismo," published in Le Figaro (1909), Marinetti launched what was arguably the first 20th c. avant-garde movement, anticipating many of the issues of Dada and Surrealism. Like other avant-garde movements, Futurism took the momentous developments in science and industry as signaling a new historical era, demanding correspondingly innovative art forms and language. Like other avant-garde movements, Futurism found a solution in collage, which Marinetti called "parole in libertà" when applied to literary forms. Between 1909 and 1920, the period known as Futurism's heroic phase, Marinetti energetically promoted his own work, and that of fellow Futurists, through numerous manifestos, speeches, essays, meetings, performances and publications. Following WWI, in which he served, Marinetti became an active member of the Fascist party; on April 15, 1919, he and Ferruccio Vecchi led the "battle" of piazza Mercanti against socialists, communists, and anarchists, which was Italian Fascism's first decisive victory. In 1929 he was elected to the Academy of Italy. Throughout the 1920s and 30s and until his death in 1944, Marinetti sought to reconcile the theories of Futurism with the ideology of state Fascism and to serve as impresario for both.
In 1923, Marinetti married Benedetta Cappa. The author of three critically acclaimed Futurist novels, a sizable body of art work, and the mother (with Marinetti) of three girls, Benedetta wrote essays and gave speeches on women and art and women and Fascism, and was presented in the press during the 1930s as a role model for Italian women. After her husband's death, Benedetta continued to correspond with fellow Futurists and to promote Futurism by organizing exhibitions, selling the Marinetti art collection to prominent American collectors and museums, and writing catalog essays.
From the guide to the Papers of F.T. Marinetti and Benedetta Cappa Marinetti, 1902-1965, 1920-1939, (Getty Research Institute)