Director's Report, 2014

Diana Gisolfi, Director

Summer 2014, the 30th year of the program, was special in many ways.

Eighteen students participated, graduate and undergraduate degree candidates in painting, printmaking, art history, library science, illustration, communication design, interior design, and art education.


Group visit to the Albergo of the Scuola Grande di Santa Maria di Carità, Galleria dell'Accademia, with Titian's Presentation of the Virgin at the Temple (1539) (photo: J.E. Molly Seegers)


Our first excursion, to the island of Torcello, was enhanced by the presence of Margaret Matz, architect and art history graduate student, who organized an exhibition for the Architectural Biennale about Torcello, and who obtained entrance for our group to spaces usually closed, thanks to her close ties with the few residents of the island.  Her exhibition linked sites in Venice (the church of San Lio) and New York (Cooper Union).


Students study current mosaic conservation efforts at the Conservation Studio of the Basilica di San Marco.


Joe Kopta, alumnus, Ph.D. candidate, and program assistant extraordinaire, led a group of students to Ravenna, as he did in 2013, again with great success. Tracy Cooper of Temple University lectured on Palladio in the churches of S. Giorgio Maggiore and the Redentore, and after Sarah Wilkins visited earlier sites with students, Sarah McHam of Rutgers lectured at the tombs of key Venetians in the church of Santi Giovanni e Paolo.


Ca' d'Oro


Unique to this year was a visit of faculty and students to Verona, to see the Veronese exhibition, led by Gisolfi who was a consultant and contributor to the catalogue. We were greeted there by Paola Marini, director of the museum and curator of the show. The installation of the show was brilliant, and the inclusion of many drawings and works by associates, as well as famous paintings, made it worthy of serious study. All had time to visit some additional sites in Verona before our return.


Materials & Techniques class visiting the biblioteca del colore at the Fabbrica Orsoni


Our normal activities proceeded very well. Chris Wright’s painters were extremely productive, as were Jennifer Melby’s printmakers, and their hard work will show in the exhibition scheduled for the 2nd Floor Gallery in East Hall November 17-21. Materials and Techniques students again visited the mosaic lab at San Marco, learned from Stefania Sartori about wood conservation and climbed the scaffold in the church of San Sebastiano to study fresco and secco decorations with conservators. Students’ research will be visible in the fall show. Paolo Spezzani lectured to all on the results of non-destructive analysis of paintings with infra-red, x-ray and ultraviolet imaging. Our early morning trip to Padua was hosted at the Giotto Chapel by Antonio Stevan, preservation architect. The Castelfranco-Emo-Maser-Bassano trip was visually splendid, delicious, and productive of artworks.


Università Internazionale dell'Arte (UIA), the main site for Pratt in Venice.


Insomma, it was a richly rewarding six weeks!