Elizabeth Rodini Appointed as AAR’s Next Andrew Heiskell Arts Director

Color portrait of the face of Elizabeth Rodini standing in front of her bookshelves
Elizabeth Rodini

The American Academy in Rome announced that scholar and curator Elizabeth Rodini has been selected as the next Andrew Heiskell Arts Director, a position based in Rome. Dr. Rodini begins a three-year term on July 1, 2019, succeeding Peter Benson Miller, who is completing a six-year term as Arts Director, and who will serve as curator for the Academy’s upcoming 125th anniversary year. Named for philanthropist and publishing executive Andrew Heiskell, the arts director supports the diverse work of Rome Prize and Italian Fellows by providing artistic and scholarly guidance, facilitating contacts and dialogue, and organizing programs, exhibitions, and related publications.

“We are delighted to have Elizabeth join the Academy staff—her broad experience in academic and museum settings make her an ideal selection for this position,” stated Academy President Mark Robbins. “In addition, Elizabeth’s engagement across the humanities will be a tremendous asset for the Academy and its programs.”

Dr. Rodini comes to the Academy from Johns Hopkins University, where she was founding director of the interdisciplinary Program in Museums and Society (2006), has taught in the Department of the History of Art since 2004, and is currently Fellow by Courtesy. Her scholarship focuses on early modern Venice and its relationships with the eastern Mediterranean, including the Islamic world. She is particularly interested in the mobility of objects and their afterlives, how they were collected and interpreted long after they were made. Rodini has recently completed a book on Gentile Bellini’s portrait of Sultan Mehmet II that uses its historical trajectory to explore a series of art historical matters, ranging from the definition of “portrait” to Orientalist practices of collecting, to the origins of national patrimony in Italy.

“We are thrilled to welcome Elizabeth Rodini as the next Heiskell Arts Director in Rome,” said AAR Director John Ochsendorf. “As both an accomplished curator of contemporary art and a scholar of Italian art history, she will be an invaluable resource for our community in exploring the past and future of the arts in Italy.”

Prior to joining Johns Hopkins, Rodini was an Andrew W. Mellon Foundation–funded curator at the University of Chicago’s David and Alfred Smart Museum of Art, where she organized exhibitions on topics ranging from antiquity to the mid-twentieth century, in collaboration with faculty and students. Among other honors, Rodini won a Fulbright USIA Fellowship to Italy (1992–93), the Hopkins Excellence in Teaching award in 2009, and a Community Based Learning and Participatory Research Award in 2015. In 2018 she was a Visiting Fellow at the Bard Graduate Center in New York City, and she has participated in faculty summer seminars funded by the Kress Foundation and National Endowment for the Humanities.

Rodini earned a PhD in art history from the University of Chicago, an MA in the history of art at the University of Michigan, and a BA in history and Italian literature from the University of Wisconsin, Madison. While at Johns Hopkins, she held adjunct curatorial positions at the Baltimore Museum of Art and the Walters Art Museum. In addition to Johns Hopkins, she has taught at New York University, the University of Chicago, and Northern Illinois University. Rodini recently joined the editorial board for caa.reviews, and her writing has appeared in Art History, Word & Image, and the Museum History Journal, among other periodicals. Her essays have appeared in edited volumes, including Typical Venice? Venetian Commodities, 13th–16th Centuries (Brepols) and The Turk and Islam in Western Eye, 1450–1750 (Ashgate), and in numerous scholarly exhibition catalogues.

“The American Academy in Rome was born of the interdisciplinary energy and expansive institutional vision that has long inspired me, and few cities can match Rome as a creative resource,” said Dr. Rodini. “I look forward to this new role and to helping advance the work of Rome Prize winners and Italian Fellows.”

American Academy in Rome / The Rome Prize

Founded in 1894, the American Academy in Rome is the leading international center for independent study and advanced research in the arts and humanities. A not-for-profit, privately funded institution, AAR annually offers the Rome Prize Fellowship and Italian Fellowships to a select group of artists and scholars, after an application process that begins each fall. The winners, selected by independent juries through a national competition process, are invited to Rome the following year to pursue their work in an atmosphere conducive to intellectual and artistic experimentation and interdisciplinary exchange. Fellowships are offered in the following categories: Literature, Music Composition, Visual Arts, Architecture, Landscape Architecture, Design, and Historic Preservation and Conservation, as well as Ancient, Medieval, Renaissance and Early Modern, and Modern Italian Studies. To date, AAR has fueled critical thinking, research, and work for over 1,700 artists and scholars who are leaders in their fields and whose rich and significant output continues to fill museums, concert halls, libraries, and universities across the United States and around the world.

In addition to the Rome Prize winners and Italian Fellows, AAR also invites a select group of Residents, Affiliated Fellows, and Visiting Artists and Scholars to work within this exceptional community in Rome.

For more information, please contact AAR Communications:

Marques McClary, m.mcclary [at] aarome.org (m[dot]mcclary[at]aarome[dot]org)
Anne Coulson, a.coulson [at] aarome.org (a[dot]coulson[at]aarome[dot]org)
Christopher Howard, c.howard [at] aarome.org (c[dot]howard[at]aarome[dot]org)

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