Exhibition | Precious Instruments, Distinguished Figures

Posted in exhibitions by Editor on July 17, 2018

Antonio Berti, Psaltery made for Maria Teresa Strozzi (1682–1748).

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Now on view at the Palace Venaria, near Turin:

Precious Instruments, Distinguished Figures: Music and Luthiery between the 17th and 20th Centuries in Europe
Venaria Reale, Torino, 31 May — 30 September 2018

Curated by Giovanni Accornero

The exhibition illustrates and compares four centuries of luthiery and collections, music and musicians, nobility and patronage.

Violins, violas, cellos, 5-course guitars, mandolins, lyre-guitar and psalteries made by master luthiers who were recognized and appreciated worldwide: Stradivari, Guarneri ‘del Gesù’, Amati, Guadagnini, Vinaccia, Fabricatore, Berti and Battaglia, Nadermann, Torres e Hauser—these were the fundamental Italian and European luthiers, an artistic craft that is inextricably connected the world over to the culture of ‘music making’. Precious musical instruments that on this ambitious stage move beyond craftsmanship to become genuine works of art.

It is a stimulating display that outlines a socio-cultural and artistic framework through a historical overview of around thirty musical instruments, most of which are exhibited for the first time since they are part of private collections. The instruments once belonged to famous figures: from exceptional musicians like Gaetano Pugnani, Niccolò Paganini, Charles Dancla, Yehudy Menuhin, Mauro Giuliani, Ramon Montoya, Andrés Segovia, Ida Presti, to major historical figures like the Emperor Leopold I of Habsburg, the Empress Maria Theresa of Naples and Sicily, princess Maria Teresa Strozzi, count Cozio di Salabue, countess Maria Beatrice Barbiano di Belgioioso Dal Pozzo della Cisterna, duchess Marie-Thérèse Charlotte of France, and queen Margherita of Savoy.

The exhibition is also an opportunity to familiarize the general public with the luthiery tradition of Turin that starting in the late 18th century, gained momentum (as the production in Cremona started to wane), and established itself on the European scene, a preeminence that remained unchanged for more than a century. It is a chance to rediscover the primacy of this region in yet another cultural sector.

Exhibition organized by: Consorzio Residenze Reali Sabaude in collaboration with the publishing house Edizioni Il Salabue

Exhibition | Furniture and Cabinetmakers at the Savoy Court

Posted in books, catalogues, exhibitions by Editor on July 17, 2018

Luigi Prinotto, Chest with four drawers, depicting stories of Saint Bruno and the foundation of the Carthusian Order, 1736
(Private Collection)

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The exhibition at the Palace Venaria, near Turin, closed in June, but the catalogue is available from ArtBooks.com:

Genius and Skill: Furniture and Cabinetmakers at the Court of Savoy
Venaria Reale, Torino, 17 March — 15 June 2018

The exhibition aims to better define the history of furniture making in Piedmont between the 18th and 19th centuries through a display of 130 exceptional pieces crafted by the finest cabinet-makers and sculptors of the time—Luigi Prinotto, Pietro Piffetti, Giuseppe Maria Bonzanigo, and Gabriele Capello known as ‘Il Moncalvo’—some of which will be presented for the first time thanks to loans from important Piedmontese and international museums and collections.

The purpose of the exhibition is to familiarize the public with precious cabinetmaking and inlay works, emphasizing their significance, use, and transformations with technical and scientific insights and multimedia installations. The exhibition tells the story of an elegant, cultivated, and complex craft that developed in Turin to cater to the needs of important royal and aristocratic patrons, in conjunction with other arts.

Special care has been adopted to design a display that is accessible to disabled visitors, including scale models, touch tablets, olfactory islands, and an Italian Sign Language video-guide. Moreover, description panels and labels are written in the EasyReading font, which is highly readable and facilitates reading for dyslexic persons.

Organizing and Scientific committee: Cesare Annibaldi, Roberto Antonetto, Clelia Arnaldi di Balme, Elisabetta Ballaira, Enrico Colle, Stefania De Blasi, Silvia Ghisotti, Luisa Papotti, Carla Enrica Spantigati

Coordinated by Carlo Callieri

Cesare Annibaldi, Roberto Antonetto, et al, Genio e Maestria: Mobili ed Ebanisti alla Corte Sabauda tra Settecento ed Ottocento (Turin: Allemandi, 2018), 304 pages, ISBN: 978-8842224594, $70.

AWA and Art Restoration in Florence

Posted in museums, on site by Editor on July 17, 2018
“The Lady Who Paints,” an 11-minute video produced by Bunker Films, addresses the work of Advancing Women Artists Foundation, focusing on the Virgin Mary Presents the Christ Child to Santa Maria Maddalena de’ Pazzi by Violante Siries Cerroti, located in the sacristy of the church of Santa Maria Maddalena de’ Pazzi in Florence. Severely damaged in the 1966 flood, the painting was restored by Nicoletta Fontani and Elizabeth Wicks in 2016. More information is available in this book available from the AWA Foundation: I. Ciseri, J. Fortune, P. Masse, and E. Wicks, The Lady Who Paints: Violante Siriès Cerroti (1709–1783) (Pisa: Pacini Editore, 2016), 106 pages, ISBN: 978-8869951145 (English and Italian), €20.

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CAA’s listserv newsletter from yesterday noted this ArtNet News article:

Kate Brown, “How a Female-Led Art Restoration Movement in Florence Is Reshaping the Canon,” ArtNet News (12 July 2018).

Sometimes, all it takes is for someone to ask the right question.

That is exactly what Jane Fortune did on a visit to Florence 12 years ago. While touring the Renaissance city’s exquisite museums and fresco-covered churches, the American philanthropist began to wonder, “Where are the women?” Her search for an answer set Fortune on a passionate quest to restore the lost legacies and artworks of Florence’s forgotten female artists, digging into museums’ archives and dusty deposits with her organization, Advancing Women Artists (AWA). . .

Since the foundation launched more than 10 years ago, AWA has restored some 53 artworks. By September, that number will jump to 58. The nonprofit has become the go-to for Florentine curators who want to research their own collections, which house many works by women (AWA has inventoried 2,000 so far) that have been unseen for centuries. “That’s half the population that’s not being heard,” Fortune says. “I want to give them a voice.”

AWA has some ground rules for museums that engage them for help: If the work in question comes out of storage, it doesn’t go back into storage. It goes on the wall. And if a work needs to be restored, the vast majority of projects are carried out by female conservators.

Linda Falcone, the director of AWA, explains that the majority of restorers in Florence are in fact women, but that it was not always this way. The shift was caused by a devastating flood that struck in 1966, which led to the loss or damage of millions of artworks and books, including many masterpieces. A group of scholars, art students, and other art experts dubbed the “Mud Angels” flocked to the city to help with the restoration effort, as did the so-called “Flood Ladies”—female artists who donated art to replace lost masterworks.

Art historians like Kirsten Aschengreen Piacenti, who came from Denmark, were eager to help. In turn, they established a female-led network of experts, many of whom are still active today. Piacenti went on to become the head of Florence’s Museum Stibbert until 2012, and she is among an impressive number of female curators who work in the city’s institutions.

“It was the first time women began wearing trousers in Florence,” Falcone says. “Women’s liberation in Florence is deeply linked to the art restoration effort.” . . .

The full article is available here»

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