EWTN to air special on the Patrons

The global Catholic network, EWTN, will be airing a special focusing on the Patrons of the Artts in the Vatican Museums. With behind the scenes access and special footage of the 30th anniversary, this is sure to be a “must see.” Please see program details below and tune in to witness the exclusive Patrons experience.



A stunning documentary on the Vatican Museum Patrons who preserve the world renowned paintings of this revered museum. Included are works of Raphael, Bernini, Caravaggio, and Michelangelo.

Eternal World Television Network, Inc. (EWTN)


Duration: 30 minutes


4/24 – 3:30am

4/27 – 10:30pm

Link to website:


Save the Date: Italian and Int’l PAVM Upcoming Event to Benefit Multisensory Tours

The Italian and International Chapters of the Patrons of the Arts will be hosting another wonderful event—an exclusive evening walk through the coveted Vatican Gardens, an after-hours viewing of the Sistine Chapel, and an intimate reception at the Casina Pio IV in the heart of Vatican City—that is not to be missed.  The private event is open to Patrons and friends, with RSVP and for the price of a 100€ ticket, from which all proceeds go towards sponsoring the latest multi-sensory Museums project, developing tours to share the wonders of Vatican Art with children and adults who suffer from visual and hearing impairment. We ask you to save the date, Saturday, May 17th,  RSVP to Chapter Leaders Amy Gallant Sullivan and Sabrina Zappia, and join us for what is sure to be a beautiful evening, graced by fantastic art, charitable intentions, and gracious attendees.  Please refer to our official Invitation, pictured below, for details. Hope to see you there!


The Emperor’s Tapestry

Last Friday, Patrons project manager  and restoration liaison, Romina Cometti, met with conservators, curators, and Museums directors in the Polymateric Laboratory of the Vatican’s Ethnological Museum to discuss the restoration progress of the Embroidered and Painted Silk Tapestry.  Together, they examined the Chinese imperial artifact, taking a closer look at the rich, colorful silk embroidery and gold leaf detailing that depicts the family clan of Emperor Xianfeng (Qing Dynasty).  Observing the object from this exclusive perspective, gathered around the edges of the tapestry as it lay flat upon a table in the restoration lab, brought attention to the unique details woven into its border.

Among the twisting vines of the bordering floral motif, Cometti noticed a curious detail—the figure of a bat, represented several times throughout the tapestry—and inquired about the animal’s purpose within the design.  Father Nicola Mapelli, head curator of the Ethnological collection, explained that the bat is one of the most popular auspicious symbols in Chinese culture:  the Chinese word for “bat”—“fú”— coincidentally holds the same pronunciation as the Chinese word for “good fortune” or “happiness,”  and the animal has a long tradition of being depicted in Chinese art, carrying the symbolism of good fortune as a visual application of the homophone.

Color also plays a role in this sense: bats are often depicted in red, because it is recognized in Chinese culture as the color of joy and also because the word for red bat, “hong fu,” sounds exactly like the word for “boundless good fortune.”  The photograph below shows a detail of one of the bats woven into the fabric of the Embroidered and Painted Silk Tapestry.  Beyond its red face and distinct ears, the bat’s ornate wings are curved in the shape of a ruyi scepter, another good luck emblem, and are depicted in white, which symbolizes longevity.

It is also interesting to know that “Xianfeng,” the reigning title of the Emperor who commissioned this tapestry, means “Universal Prosperity.”  One can imagine this beautiful tapestry hanging on the wall behind his throne, depicting the imperial family surrounded by these auspicious bats, conveying boundless good fortune, longevity, and universal happiness during his rule. Thanks to the generosity of the Michigan Patrons and the hard work of the Polymateric Lab, we know that the tapestry will be restored to beautiful condition and hung up once again to exhibit its rich fabric of cultural symbolism.   In the meantime, the tapestry’s inscription will be studied, and all damaged areas of its precious silk will be properly repaired. Who knows what further exciting details are yet to be uncovered!


michigan project chinese tapestry detail

Article written by Maddie Amos

Canadian Patrons Update: March 2014 Newsletter

The Canadian Patrons of the Arts have just released their latest Chapter Newsletter, which features notes from both the “honorary” and outgoing Chairs of the Chapter, as well as a reflection on the 30th Anniversary by Colleen Stanton and Bob Harper.  Beyond these worthwhile reads, the issue is filled with a wonderful spread of photos from past receptions, events, and restoration projects, and it even includes a helpful summarized financial report!  Special thanks to Carol Hill and Teresa Tomory for putting together this wonderful newsletter.

Click here to read the full issue of the Canadian Patrons Newsletter!

Also, be sure to save the date for two upcoming Canadian Chapter events :

  • June 4th – Annual Reception at St. Michael’s Cathedral Courtyard
  • August 8th – Joint Chapter event with Michigan — Coctail and Dinner with guest speaker, Comdt. Daniel Annig, at the Toronto Hunt Club



Fr. Mark, PAVM featured in Italian Journal OGGI

Fr. Mark Haydu, International Director of Patrons of the Arts, was featured in the March 12th, 2014 edition of the Italian journal OGGI.  The article, written by journalist Marco Merola for the Cultural Agenda section, explained his role in fundraising and described the Patrons’ generous part in philanthropy.  Some of our UK Patrons also made the issue, pictured in front of their restoration project of the Galea Fountain upon its completion in 2011.  At the end of the article, Fr. Mark speaks candidly about his observations of the nature of philanthropy on an international scale, explaining how it “follows more complex roads” in certain cultures, but, at the end of the day, “[many] are generous people, especially when it comes to art.”  See the full article below.