Home Sweet Home

Later, the achievement of buying one’s own home became one of the most reassuring signs of success and improvement, a place which immigrants could finally feel was theirs. Home is both a nest and a fortress, a shelter for everyone who has “Italy inside and America outside” and still has much to do in order to make their mark in the new homeland they have settled in. And pictures are like personal accounts of the emigrants’ experiences.

From the Cresci Archives here are two different accounts: Augustin Storace is a trader and a bombero (fireman) in Lima. He has had a good education and uses his camera to portray scenes of family life.

Benny Moscardini, settled in Boston, makes a less private use of photography: he takes pictures of the community’s children, of the streets full of flags to honour General Diaz and, on the occasion of a journey to Italy, even a quay in the port of New York.

The world of Storace is all between his home and shop; that of Moscardini is more outward-looking.

Peru, Lima, about 1900. Inside the house of Agustin Storace
Peru, Lima, about 1900. Inside the house of Agustin Storace
Brazil, Minas Gerais, Monte Sião, 1920.  The Pennacchi family in their garden
Brazil, Minas Gerais, Monte Sião, 1920. The Pennacchi family in their garden
USA, Pennsylvania, Elwood City, 1920s. Alice Nardini with her son in their home courtyard
USA, Pennsylvania, Elwood City, 1920s. Alice Nardini with her son in their home courtyard