An Attic Full of Trains

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A delightful journey through 20th-century summers, as captured by Italian photographer Alberto di Lenardo.

As a child, Carlotta di Lenardo loved to visit her grandparents’ house in Italy. There, she used a secret door in a library to enter the attic – the stage for a massive model railway. Watching her grandfather’s trains run on carefully built tracks became one of her most cherished childhood memories, but the model railway only provided a starting point to a bigger revelation. One day, Alberto di Lenardo disclosed to his granddaughter that he had another passion: photography. He also shared with her an archive of more than 8,000 photographs, kept in the same attic. Taken over the course of more than 50 years, the images showed slices of leisurely life during the 20th-century. Colorful and joyous, many photos capture summers spent traveling around Italy, the USA, Greece, Brazil, or Morocco. Carlotta di Lenardo gathered the series in a book, An Attic Full of Trains.

While unknown until now, Alberto di Lenardo’s photography precedes the work of some of the most beloved Italian photographers like Guido Guidi and Luigi Ghirri. Images show laid-back summers, beaches, road trips, mountains, and lovers as well as strangers and sunny landscapes. Some of the photographs tell a story in ‘before’ and ‘after’ moments, while others feature reflections and creative framing. All of them transport the viewer to another world. Published by London-based independent publisher Mack Books, An Attic Full of Trains introduces the world for the first time to the charming photography of Alberto di Lenardo. Throughout the 232 pages, readers will go back in time to a joyous 20th-century and the photographer’s never-ending summer. The Swiss-bound paperback features both English and Italian text and costs $35 on the publisher’s site. Photographs© Alberto di Lenardo.

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