See you soon Harriet

To say that this was a pretty cool summer internship would be an absolute understatement. As one might guess, working inside the Vatican Museums makes for a truly incredible experience, but this summer with the Patrons of the Arts has truly exceeded all of my expectations. Seeing different restorations in progress in the Restoration Laboratories and the scaffolding of the Constantine room, exploring the nooks and crannies of less travelled areas in the museums, and following along guided tours through the museums, the gardens and the Santa Rosa Necropolis were just a few of the perks I thoroughly enjoyed over the past two months.

Though growing up I always enjoyed visiting art museums, this past summer has reignited my passion for art and art history as well as inspired a newfound interest in restoration and its importance.  There’s nothing quite like the invigorating feeling of walking through the practically empty galleries just before or after the museums’ visiting hours or watching a restoration magically bring a piece back to life before your eyes. But the people, above all, are what have made working in the Patrons office so special.

I am incredibly grateful to have worked in an office with such wonderful people who are all clearly passionate about the Patrons’ mission and the work they are doing. As I return to Notre Dame for my final undergraduate year, I am already reminiscing about the moments spent with my colleagues and two fellow interns, whether it was collaborating on a particular assignment or just a quick chat over a caffè. But it’s not only the staff here that makes this organization so impressive; it’s also each of the patrons I met, who come from all over the globe, each with their unique perspective and reasons for joining the PAVM.

My primary responsibility this summer involved compiling data on completed restoration projects by connecting each work of art with its information (artist, date, geographic location, etc.), restoration summary, and funding source. In this process, I learned a great deal about the immense number and variety of projects made possible by the patrons as well as reinforced my understanding of the importance of conserving these works. I also had the opportunity to write articles, and translate and edit various documents ranging from technical restoration reports to the newsletter. With these projects, I deepened my knowledge of different aspects of the museums and restoration processes, and I expanded my Italian technical art lexicon. This was particularly fascinating as some words for restoration procedures or artistic descriptions just don’t quite translate into English or exist in Italian-English dictionaries.

Overall, this summer was especially fruitful both personally and professionally. I can’t say that I’ve totally figured out the layout of the Vatican, but I can say that each day I was truly wowed by some new detail or intricacy I had discovered.

I hope to return to Rome sometime in the near future so until then, arrivederci!

See you soon Catie

Saying goodbye has never been one of my strong suits and having to say goodbye to all the members of the Patron’s office is no exception. This summer I had the unforgettable experience to intern for an organization that is extremely close to my family’s and my heart. It was a true joy to get to know and work with all of the women in the office…and of course, can’t forget Fr. Kevin! I was blown away by how passionate all of the people in the office are for this organization and how patient they were with myself and the other two interns, Harriet and Zoe.

During my time at the Patron’s, I was assigned the project of creating a case study comparing The PAVM to other similar nonprofits. In doing so, I was able to create a website that laid out what PAVM does well and ideas from other nonprofits that we could implement. Getting to speak with people from the Friends of The Louvre and the Papal Foundation and learn about the ways they run their nonprofits was such a fantastic experience. I was also able to begin the working on creating member spotlights for the new website. I was such a great experience to learn all of the different stories and connections that current members of The PAVM have!

This internship was also extremely spiritual fulfilling. Being able to attend mass each week in St. Peter’s Basilica and to work in a place that is a constant reminder of the Catholic faith was more than I could have ever asked for in an internship.

I cannot thank everyone in the office enough for allowing me to have such an unbelievable experience. The kindness and support that they all showed was so fulfilling, and their hard work and dedication to the organization was beyond inspiring. I will miss each and every member in the office, but I am excited to see how each of them will continue to excel in all of the work that they do.

When it comes to my co-workers, Harriet and Zoe were absolutely the best two girls I could have ever asked to have as fellow interns. They are both so driven and passionate about living life to the fullest and were truly inspiring! Our hard work, ventures around the different galleries, and frequent trips to buy Oreos at the vending machines are just a few of the little things that I will always cherish.

Having the experience to intern for a nonprofit outside of the United States has opened my eyes to all of the potential possibilities that come with working for a nonprofit. While I am extremely sad to leave Rome, I am very excited to see where my future takes me and will always keep this experience extremely close to my heart. Vatican City has always been one of my absolute favorite places, and after this summer that love has grown ten times over! So instead of goodbye, I’m going to say “see you later” because I hope to be back in Rome very soon!

MEET THE MAN WITH THE KEYS TO THE VATICAN

Every morning Gianni Crea unlocks the doors to history.

“The real privilege is being able, every day, to walk through this and each day learn something new,” says Gianni Crea, head key keeper of the Vatican Museums. “You’re walking through history and you read lessons that all the popes to this date have preserved.”

The Gallery of Statues and the Hall of Busts showcase works like the Sleeping Ariadne and frescoes painted by Pinturicchio. PHOTOGRAPH BY ALBERTO BERNASCONI, MUSEI VATICANI

“Each morning when I enter the Sistine Chapel I experience a string of emotions,” Crea says. PHOTOGRAPH BY ALBERTO BERNASCONI, MUSEI VATICANI

Can’t make it to the Museums this summer? You can still take a behind the scenes look at the man who opens the collections to the 28,000 daily visitors with Gulnaz Khan of National Geographic.

Khan offers a striking profile on Gianni Crea, the head key keeper at the Vatican Museums, detailing the clavigero’s unique perspective on the beauty and significance of the works he watches over. As a devout Catholic, Crea deeply understands the power and special mission of art in faith.

With complete humility, he states “I’m a simple custodian, but for me the beautiful thing is to conserve and look after the keys of history” as he enables guests from all different cultures and religions to find something moving within the collections.

“I know the smell that is waiting for me when I open the first door is the smell of history—the smell that men before us have breathed in.” It’s the very same ground that they have walked, loved, and cried on, he says.

“I have the keys, figuratively speaking, of the history of Christianity—both Christian history and the history of art,” Crea says. “The Vatican Museums, including the Raffaello Rooms and the Sistine Chapel, are among the most beautiful works of art in the world.” PHOTOGRAPH BY ALBERTO BERNASCONI, MUSEI VATICANI

If you want to read more visit the following link:

https://www.nationalgeographic.com/travel/destinations/europe/vatican-city/key-keeper-vatican-museums-photos/?cmpid=org=ngp::mc=social::src=facebook::cmp=editorial::add=fbp20180707travel-newmankeysvatican::rid=&sf193274793=1

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Reopening with new layout of the Saint Paul archaeological area

On the eve of the Solemnity of the Holy Apostles Peter and Paul, and exactly five years since its first inauguration in 2013, the archaeological area of the Monks’ Orchard of Saint Paul Outside-the-Walls will complete a long and complex musealisation project, reopening to the public with a new layout, particularly functional and evocative in terms of the museographic and lighting solutions adopted.

In offering to pilgrims and tourists, in an unprecedented and precious look at medieval Rome, the reopening of the site constitutes the concluding moment of an important and complex conservation, restoration and enhancement project that has involved the fruitful interdisciplinary collaboration of various institutional actors, from the Administration of the Papal Basilica as promoter, to the Vatican Museums via the Department of Christian Antiquities and the Conservator’s Office, from the Pontifical Institute of Christian Archaeology to the School for Specialisation in Architectural and Landscape Heritage of “La Sapienza” University of Rome, as well as the Superior Institute for Conservation and Restoration.

The definitive musealisation project involved the completion of the restoration and cleaning of the ancient walls, and of the floor, wall and ceiling surfaces, the production of more structured lighting systems, the improvement of didactic materials, the in situ display of materials discovered during the excavation, the construction of a boardwalk with elements in crystal and steel and, last but not least, the organization of an ordinary maintenance service for the site to prevent its deterioration and to ensure conservation over time, always with the minimal use additional signs and the adoption of the criterion of minimal intervention.

Useful Links: www.basilicasanpaolo.org

 

At the Table with the Gods. Illustrated Plates from the Carpegna Collections

July 4th, 2018
Sala XVII, Pinacoteca

Following the culmination of the Metal Restoration Laboratory and the Vatican Museums Ceramics Department’s careful restoration work, a precious set of illustrated ceramic plates from the Carpegna Collection can be admired before it soon joins a permanent collection. This special exhibit will open for the summer season on July 4th and will be located in the prestigious Vatican Pinacoteca in Room XVII, which has hosted the prior original initiatives of the Museums at Work expositions.

This “little exhibit,” titled At the Table with the Gods. Illustrated Plates from the Carpegna Collection, is curated by Guido Cornini and is based on a previously successful format, established through The Pope’s Museums. The exposition also serves as a lively workshop for study and research, aiming to communicate and enhance the knowledge and the many daily activities within the Museums. Among the pieces in the collection, are thirty-three out of thirty-four illustrated majolica ceramics, which joined the Decorative Arts Department of the Vatican Museums in 1999 from the old collections of the Apostolic Library.

This set of historically and artistically valuable artifacts were made in the late sixteenth century by the skilled majolica masters of Urbino based on designs by painters from the school of Raphael. Although they are some of the most fascinating seventeenth-century collectibles, they constitute one of the least noted chapters.

Four large thematic groups can be identified in the designs and decorations that characterize the precious set of ceramics. They range from biblically inspired scenes, portraying stories from the Old Testament and the Gospels, to mythological depictions, treating both literary and allegorical topics.

The Carpegna plates collection display is a project sponsored by Mr. & Mrs. Carey of the California Chapter 

THE SOUND OF ART

The Office of the Patrons of the Arts in the Vatican Museums was pleased to host a group of patients from the Bambino Gesù Hospital, a children’s hospital located in Rome under the administration of the Holy See. Our guests, ranging in ages from 3 to 10, gathered in the Vatican Museums with their siblings and parents for a day of summer camp fun. The Vatican in collaboration with the hospital aimed to provide a day of reprieve for these children who suffered from some form of disability, particularly regarding visual impairments. The children were able to participate in activities that largely incorporated sensory stimulation. They gathered leaves and sticks in the Vatican Gardens, physically interacted with statues and busts in the Museo Gregoriano Profano, and even took a “magic carpet” ride—a mechanism that radiated vibrations from music so those hearing-impaired guests could dance along. Our interns had the opportunity to observe as the children played with sound effects of a dinner party. The children erupted into giggles and clapping as the sounds mimicked a kiss, a breaking plate, and even a burp! Soon after, it was revealed the relevance of the sounds was in connection to the floor mosaic below their very feet, the “Asàrotos òikos” mosaic that is scattered with images of a dirty floor left over in an ancient banquet hall. Through the cohesion of various sensory activities (sight, touch, and sound) that are integral to the experience of artifacts in the Vatican Museums, we hope that the children were able to gain an appreciation for that which is housed within our walls.

Project sponsored by the Italian and International Chapter of the Patrons of the Arts in the Vatican Museums, Robyn & Kingsley Mundey and organized by Doctor Isabella Salandri – Public Relations Officer of the Vatican Museums.

 

 

CELEBRATING 25 YEARS OF DIPLOMATIC RELATIONS WITH VATICAN’S TREASURES IN MEXICO

June 20th to October 28th, 2018

Vatican City State

On the occasion of the 25th anniversary of the reestablishment of diplomatic relations between the Holy See and Mexico, San Ildefonso College of Mexico City(l’Antiguo Colegio de San Ildefonso) will host the exhibit, “Vatican: from Saint Peter to Francis. Two Thousand Years of Art and History” (“Vaticano: de San Pedro a Francisco. Dos mil años de arte e historia”), from June 20th to October 28th, 2018.  The exposition is organized by the Vatican Museums (Musei Vaticani) in collaboration with the Factory of Saint Peter (Fabbrica di San Pietro), the Vatican Apostolic Library (Biblioteca Apostolica Vaticana) and the Pontifical Sacristy(Sacrestia Pontificia). More than 180 works from the Vatican Collections will be shown in the Mexican capital- of these, 30 masterpieces from the Pope’s paintings gallery (Pinacoteca del Papa) by artists including Titian, Raphael, Veronese, Bernini, Guido Reni, Melozzo da Forlì, and Barocci. The public will have the opportunity to retrace the origins and traditions of the Roman Church through these artistic creations that testify to the enduring faith and devotion of the last 2000 years of history.

The triple Pontifical Tiara of Pope Leo XIII and the Lateran Custody from the Basilica of St. John Lateran’s treasury are also among the “treasures” that will arrive in the ancient lands of the Aztecs.

The exhibition is co-curated by Adele Breda, Pietro Zander, Sandro Barbagallo and Alessanndra Rodolfo.

Spend a Sunday at the Villas of Castel Gandolfo!

April – October 2018

From April to October, with the exception of the months of July and August, the Pontifical Villas of Castel Gandolfo will welcome visitors also on a Sunday. With the arrival of the warmer season, the special Sunday opening (from 10.00 a.m. to 15.00 p.m. with last entry at 14.00 p.m.) offers a unique opportunity to organize an out of town trip with all the family, and to be immersed in artistic treasures, beautiful landscapes and the food and wine of the Castelli Romani.

“AUSTRALIA. The Vatican Museums indigenous collection”

29 May 2018
Raphael Hall, Pinacoteca, Vatican Museums

On Tuesday 29 May, six years after the inauguration of the new permanent exhibition dedicated to Australia within the Anima Mundi Museum, the Vatican Museums will present “Australia. The Vatican Museums indigenous collection”, curated by Katherine Aigner, the third catalogue in the series of texts on the ethnological collections of the Pope’s Museums, available in Italian and English, and co-published by Edizioni Musei Vaticani andAboriginal Studies Press.

The volume begins with the history of the creation of the Collection, which now comprises around 300 pieces whose origins date back to the first donations made to Pius XI by the Aborigines of Australia. The culture of the faraway continent is examined in its multiple aspects through contributions from authoritative scholars of diverse cultural extraction, and each individual part of the catalogue has been produced in close contact with the aboriginal communities, in accordance with the philosophy of “reconnection” that characterizes both the recent history of the oceanic territory, and the section of the Vatican Museums that houses the ethnological collections.

Indeed, “reconnection” is the key word of this publication, innovative within its genre, and it is the concept around which the process has developed that has allowed the works to be reconnected with their communities of origin, creating a form of intergenerational dialogue from which entirely current themes have emerged, dear also to Pope Francis, such as the importance of the earth, the law and culture, and the conservation of cultural heritage.

The Anima Mundi Museum is not currently accessible to the public as important renovation works are being carried out, but some works from the Australian Aboriginal Collection will be exceptionally on view on the occasion of the catalogue presentation.

Focus on publications of the Vatican Museums

22 May 2018
Conference Hall, Vatican Museums

Vatican Museums Publications will be the undisputed protagonist of the conference to be held on Tuesday 22 May in the presence of the director of the Pope’s Museums, Barbara Jatta, the Director of the Publications Office Federico Di Cesare, and the Director of the Library, Cristina Pantanella.

The introduction by Barbara Jatta, which will focus on the characteristics and the role of the scientific and educational publishing of the Vatican Museums both inside and outside the museum institution, will be followed by an intervention by Federico Di Cesare, offering a brief historical summary of the various publishing activities and organizational and management decisions that have led to the birth of a fully-fledged publishing house, with registered trademark, within the Museums: Edizioni Musei Vaticani. The meeting will also constitute a formal occasion for the presentation of the 2018 edition of the Catalogue of Publications.

The conference will also include a presentation by Cristina Pantanella of the latest Bollettino dei Monumenti Musei e Gallerie Pontificie (XXXIV edizione) [Bulletin of the Monuments, Museums and Pontifical Galleries (XXXIV edition)] and a detailed illustration of its content. The Bulletin, along with its history and evolution from 1977 to the present day, will be examined during the meeting, with special attention to the scientific contributions received in each edition and their high cultural value.