Unveiling of the Room of the Addresses

The Room of Addresses is so named because, in the 19th century, it had been the place of receiving addresses to the Holy See from all over the world (it’s not the place the Pope keeps his rolodex). Then, from the pontificate of Pope Pius XI (1922-1939) onward, the hall became a place of glorious display for a valuable collection of ivories, enamels, metal works and other artistic pieces from the same countries from which so many appeals of peace and joy had been received.

It was clear that the cabinets used to showcase these works, originally acquired over 200 years ago and meant for the library of Cardinal Zelada, were woefully inadequate for the needs of this collection. They were not designed for this purpose and therefore did not have the climate control or ease of viewership that is generally required for modern museum exhibition.

Over the past two years an extensive restoration project of these displays has been underway thanks to the generous donations of patron Joseph Incaudo, in loving memory of his wife Beatrice Maddalena (1946-2009). Thanks to his support, the treasures housed in this hall now have a more modern home, befitting their beauty and importance.

Room of the Addresses, California Chapter from Vatican Patrons of the Arts on Vimeo.

The restoration of the Room of Addresses demonstrates the ways in which patrons who devote their support to structural elements of the Vatican Museums can make a significant contribution to the overall experience of millions of visitors over the years to come. For our 2016 Wishbook, many of our donation opportunities represent these kind of large-scale improvements to the museums that assist in access or education. Keep an eye out for projects such as these in the coming months, they will maintain an important legacy for those who have the chance to patronize them.

On June 25, these crucial restorations were ready to be unveiled. His Eminence Cardinal Giuseppe Bertello (President of the Governorate of City Vatican), Antonio Paolucci (Director of the Vatican Museums), Benedetta Montevecchi (Historian) and Guido Cornini (Curator of the Department of Decorative Arts of the Vatican Museums), and our own Sara Savoldello, Romina Cometti and Camille Reyes were on hand to officially inaugurate the new displays.

The cases also facilitate a restructuring of the collection into an improved experience for viewers which allows for focused curation and a more intuitive organizational pattern for the pieces following chronological and geographical nodes.  As part of the event on the 25th, organizers also showcased restorations on the Barocchi Crucifixes, thanks to the Reas of our Michigan Patrons, as well as upcoming restoration on St. Pantaleo sponsored by the Perry Family of Ohio.

 

At the Conference discussing thie new display. From left to right: Benedetta Montevecchi, Antonio Paolucci, HE Card. Bertello and Guido Cornini.

At the Conference discussing thie new display. From left to right: Benedetta Montevecchi, Antonio Paolucci, HE Card. Bertello and Guido Cornini.

Curator Guido Cornini being interviewed by Televisa on the unveiling.

Curator Guido Cornini being interviewed by Televisa on the unveiling.

Viewers admiring the new display cases.

St. Pantaleo displayed in the top middle.

Viewers admiring the new display cases.

Viewers admiring the new display cases.

The Patron’s Pilgrimage Was a Trip to Remember

Fr. Mark and several of our favorite art experts were honored to join our patrons on a spiritual and artistic journey. From May 1 until May 7 – patrons gathered at sea on a sumptuous cruise which featured stops in some of Europe’s most beautiful and meaningful cities. Patrons came from everywhere, from Michigan to Florida, Colorado and California. The travellers visited Gaudi’s famous church, The Sagrada Familia in Barcelona, spend time at the Prince’s palace in Monaco, and were able to join his eminence Cardinal Harvey for Mass at Santa Maria Regina Della Famiglia in the Governatorato. In France they also were given a special tour of the famous Cistercian monastery Le Thoronet Abbey. They found the austere and resonant surroundings inspirational and even had a chance to pray in this meditative space.  And at each stop our patrons interacted with experts and had the opportunity to learn insights about the sites from trained historians and theologians.

Many patrons extended their trip to include an additional three-day pilgrimage to Rome where they were able to take advantage of exclusive tours and ultimately attend a farewell Gala Dinner in the Gallery of the Busts here at the Museum. It was wonderful to have everyone here.

Many thanks to everyone who chose to join in on the cruise and I’m sure you can attest to what a wonderful time it was. To keep up with friends from the cruise and show off your pictures we’ve created this facebook page.

It’s a great way to stay in touch with your patron friends and to see what the cruise was like! And attendees, please don’t hesitate to send your stories and pictures to us here.  

Photo of the Patrons in Gaudi's Sagrada Familia. Photo by John Hale.

Photo of the Patrons in Gaudi’s Sagrada Familia. Photo by John Hale.

Patrons in the Sistine Chapel

Patrons in the Sistine Chapel

Patrons with his Eminence James Michael Cardinal Harvey in front of Santa Maria Regina della Famiglia.

Patrons with his Eminence James Michael Cardinal Harvey in front of Santa Maria Regina della Famiglia.

In the Gallery of the Busts.

Gala Dinner in the Gallery of the Busts.

The Sacred in the Profane – Mythological Statues in The Gregorian Profane Museum Restored

The Profane Museum, founded by Clement XIII in 1761 was the first gallery in the Vatican dedicated to the display of the ancient “profane” pieces. These included pagan art as well as “domestic” instruments (cameos, ivory, rock crystal and small bronzes). The museum underwent a large overhaul when a new entrance was constructed and many pieces were given a course of restoration at that time thanks to the efforts of the Michigan Chapter.

Mythological Statuettes Part 1, Michigan Chapter from Vatican Patrons of the Arts on Vimeo.

{See the video for more on these wonderful works and how they were retooled in the 18th century!}

Pieces depicted in the video include works from the 2nd to 5th century, many from Roman houses and some amazing artifacts from Pompeii and Herculaneum. In the 1700s several of these pieces, that had been part of a large collection owned by Cardinal Carpegna, were repurposed and adorned with golden appointments by the artist Valadier .The preserved state of these artifacts is amazing! Let restorer Claudia Legga walk you through these meticulously restored pieces. Again, many thanks to the Michigan Chapter for their support in this effort.

Mythological Statuettes, Part 2, Michigan Chapter from Vatican Patrons of the Arts on Vimeo.

{Ms. Legga continues your tour of the “profane” artifacts…}

FullSizeRender (4)

Three Crosses Restored Thanks to Our Michigan Chapter

Restorations are complete on three beautiful crucifixes!In 2007, Carlo and Lucia Barocchi donated three exquisite crosses to Pope Benedict XVI. One was a 14th century copper crucifix of the “archaic” style, a second in gilded silver was from the 17th century and a third (the oldest) dates back to the late middle ages. After being put in our Wishbook a restoration of these pieces was supported by Tony and Suzanne Rea of the Michigan Chapter. The spectacular final results are due to their patronage and the efforts of our wonderful restorers of the Decorative Arts Department.

Barocchi Crucifixes Collection, Michigan Chapter from Vatican Patrons of the Arts on Vimeo.

Michigan Chapter Hosts Swiss Guard Commander Daniel Anrig

Michigan Chapter Hosts the Vatican’s Famous Swiss Guard

En Garde! On August 4th the Michigan Chapter of the Patrons of the Arts hosted Daniel Anrig, Commander of the Pontifical Swiss Guard. They enjoyed fine Italian food and good company while learning about the oldest active army in the world!

Hour Detroit Magazine covered the event here! Make sure to see the fun!

Check out our Facebook Post: https://www.facebook.com/pages/The-Patrons-of-the-Arts-in-the-Vatican-Museums/131874896849296

Twitter Post: https://twitter.com/Vatican_Patrons/status/507811404603473921

MIchigan Chapter Leaders John and Kristen Hale, Suzanne and Tony Rea

MIchigan Chapter Leaders John and Kristen Hale, Suzanne and Tony Rea

Joe Rimanelli, Daniel Anrig, Patrick Rugiero

Joe Rimanelli, Daniel Anrig, Patrick Rugiero

Michigan Chapter Leaders John and Kristen Hale

Michigan Chapter Leaders John and Kristen Hale

 

 

David and Michael Wilson

David and Michael Wilson

Ken Soens, Suzanne and Tony Rea

Ken Soens, Suzanne and Tony Rea

 

Jean Chase, Eileen Dluzynski

Jean Chase, Eileen Dluzynski

 

Walter and Doreen Wegmueller

Walter and Doreen Wegmueller

Patty Chiara, Mary Anne Napolitano, Claire O'Reilly

Patty Chiara, Mary Anne Napolitano, Claire O’Reilly

Kristen Hale, Joe DiFranco, Chris Rea

Kristen Hale, Joe DiFranco, Chris Rea

Anthony Rugiero and Swiss Commander Daniel Anrig

Anthony Rugiero and Swiss Commander Daniel Anrig

Anthony, Robert, and Patrick Rugiero

Anthony, Robert, and Patrick Rugiero

Michigan Chapter Leaders Suzanne Rea (left) and Kristen Hale (right) host Swiss Guard Commander Daniel Anrig

Michigan Chapter Leaders Suzanne Rea (left) and Kristen Hale (right) host Swiss Guard Commander Daniel Anrig