May 2014


Getty Connecting Art Histories Seminar - Framing Medieval Mediterranean Art: Museums and Archaeology in National Discourse

  • Monday, 5 May 2014 - 9:00am to Thursday, 8 May 2014 - 6:00pm
AAR Lecture Room

“Framing the Medieval Mediterranean” is a research seminar supported by the Getty Foundation as part of its Connecting Art Histories initiative. Held in three meetings over two years at the American Academy in Rome (2014-2015), the seminar program explores the impact of national discourses on the development of medieval art history and archaeology in the Mediterranean littoral.

The role of nationalism in the preservation and presentation of medieval art and architecture in Mediterranean contexts has not yet been treated in any scholarly forum with the depth and comprehensiveness the subject deserves. And yet, national narratives fundamentally influence both scholarly discourse and public understanding. The periodization of material culture as “Ancient,” “Medieval”, “Byzantine”, “Ottoman”, and “Modern,” the characterization of religious change as positive or negative, even the visualization of the historical arc as one of progress or decline, are all fundamentally impacted by the ordering and categorizing activities that take place in museums and archaeological sites. These sites of presentation in turn shape the agendas of scholars as well as the ways in which the various national publics make sense of their past.

The seminar brings together younger scholars from around the Mediterranean to rethink their own research projects in light of discussions shared in the seminar. The seminar uses visits to local museums and archaeological parks in Rome and central Italy, as well as visits by local specialists, to inform its ongoing work.

Seminar Website:

Contact: Kim Bowes, American Academy in Rome

Home from Rome

Marina Rustow - The Problem of Archives in the Middle East, or How the Theater of Marcellus Changed My Life

  • Thursday, 8 May 2014 - 6:00pm
American Academy in Rome, 7 East 60th Street
New York City

“I was an odd choice for a Rome Prize, or so I have always thought: the texts I study are not in Latin or Greek but in Hebrew and Arabic. I came to Rome to study the survival of Judaeo-Arabic in medieval Sicily. I ended up studying the history of the archive in medieval Egypt. I blame my change of heart on the Theater of Marcellus, the building that taught me why the afterlives of artifacts matter.” Marina Rustow, FAAR’07

Marina Rustow, FAAR '07, is the Charlotte Bloomberg Professor of the Humaities at Johns Hopkins University and an associate professor in the History Department. Her current research focuses on social history and production, use and storage of documentary texts in the medieval middle East. Her book Heresy and the Politics of Community: The Jews of the Fatimid Caliphate (Cornell University Press, 2008) won two Jewish studies book prizes. 

The Home from Rome series is made possible by the new New Initiatives for Don Fund, a gift of Maria R. Cox. 

Fellow Shoptalks

Gabrielle Ponce - Cervantes, Poet

  • Tuesday, 13 May 2014 - 6:30pm
AAR Lecture Room

Gabrielle Ponce, Millicent Mercer Johnsen Pre-Doctoral Rome Prize Fellow in Renaissance and Early Modern Studies, will give her shoptalk entitled Cervantes, Poet.


James Hankins - The Roman Republic in the Italian Renaissance

  • Thursday, 15 May 2014 - 6:30pm
AAR Lecture Room

The Renaissance's understanding of the Roman republic differed considerably from that of modern times, both as a political concept and as an historical period. Prof. Hankins' lecture shows how this contested historical concept evolved from the late fourteenth to the middle of the sixteenth century. The evolution of the concept is collated with the parallel story of the recovery of ancient sources, both Greek and Latin, for the history of Rome.

James Hankins, FAAR’82, is Professor of History at Harvard University and American Academy in Rome Scholar in Residence.


Building an Idea: McKim, Mead & White and the American Academy in Rome, 1914-2014

  • Wednesday, 21 May 2014 - 6:00pm to 9:00pm
AAR Gallery
McKim, Mead & White building with external scaffolding during construction in February 1913; American Academy in Rome, Photographic Archive

In 2014, the American Academy in Rome celebrates the centenary of its main building, the only project designed by the legendary architectural firm McKim, Mead White in Europe. Marking the occasion, this exhibition of drawings, plans, photographs and other archival material, curated by noted architectural historian Marida Talamona, traces the design, construction and early critical reception of the structure.

Unlike many other foreign academies in Rome, the McKim, Mead & White building was conceived and constructed as the physical manifestation of a powerful generative idea: that the arts and humanities flourish and grow when they exist together in a single, residential context. The exhibition will feature unpublished designs and plans that have recently resurfaced in the Archivio di Stato di Roma and in the Archivio Storico Capitolino with additional material from the Istituto Nazionale per la Grafica. These institutions, along with the Ordine degli Architetti di Roma, are collaborating with the American Academy to realize the exhibition and catalogue. Architect Umberto Riva is responsible for the exhibition design.

Replete with essays by Marida Talamona, Barry Bergdoll, Francesca Romana Stabile, Paola Porretta, and current Rome Prize Fellow Lindsay Harris, among others, the illustrated catalogue promises to be the most definitive resource to date on the McKim, Mead White building.

Remarks will be given at 7:30pm on the opening night.

The exhibition is open on Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays from 4pm to 7pm until 29 June 2014.

Support for this exhibition was provided in part by a grant from the Carnegie Corporation of New York and from the Gladys Krieble Delmas Foundation. Additional support was provided by the Ordine degli Architetti, P.P.C. di Roma e Provincia, AbbVie, Banca Popolare di Ancona, 3P SIM S.p.A., Associazione Italiana Tecnica Economica Cemento and Sisal.

Under the High Patronage of the President of the Republic of Italy





Rome 2014: Looking Forward Looking Back

  • Monday, 26 May 2014 - 12:00pm to Sunday, 1 June 2014 - 12:00pm
American Academy in Rome
Photo: Alex McLean

From 26 May to 1 June 2014, past and present AAR Fellows, Friends, Residents, Staff, and Trustees will gather for the annual Open Studios, Concerts, Readings, and Walks and Talks during Trustees’ Week. There will be formal and informal oral histories, group photographs, and lively discussions about where the Academy has been and where it is going in the next century. The week of events will celebrate the 100th anniversary of the Academy's residence in the McKim Mead and White building on the Janiculum, the 100th anniversary of the opening of the Library, and, finally, the 100th anniversary of the definitive joining ‒ in theory and practice ‒ of the fine arts and the humanities in one place. In short, this Rome Reunion will mark the moment when the Academy became the institution we know and love today: a place that supports artists, writers, and scholars living together and working innovatively in a dynamic, international community.  

Mark your calendars! We need your voice, your perspective, and your presence at the Academy to help propel us forward into the next hundred years.


Fellows' Concert

  • Tuesday, 27 May 2014 - 9:00pm
Villa Aurelia

The concert features music by Rome Prize Fellows in Musical Composition Eric Nathan and Dan Visconti performed by the Jack Quartet and oboist Peggy Pearson.

The program will include: Eric Nathan’s Four to One (2011) for string quartet; Omaggio a Gesualdo (2013, rev. 2014) for string quartet (world premiere); Quartet for Oboe and Strings (2012), with oboist Peggy Pearson; and Carlo Gesualdo (trans. Eric Nathan): "Ahi! Disperata Vita" from Madrigali a cinque voci Libro terzo (1594) for oboe and string quartet, with oboist Peggy Pearson; and Dan Visconti’s Black Bend (2003) for string quartet; New Work (2014) for string quartet; and Love Bleeds Radiant (2006) ­for amplified string quartet and CD playback.

Seats are available on a first-come, first-served basis. You are kindly requested to take your seat 15 minutes before the beginning of the event.

The concert is made possible by The Aaron Copland Fund for Music, Fromm Music Foundation, Herman Goldman Foundation, Estate of Kent W. Kennan, FAAR’39, and Janice and George Scantland. Arts events are also supported by the Syde Hurdus Foundation.