Elizabeth Rodini – Journeys, and the Afterlife of Things


Elizabeth Rodini – Journeys, and the Afterlife of Things

Composite image showing a detail of postcard of Venice on the left, and a painted portrait of Sultan Mehmet II by Gentile Bellini on the right

Left: “Ca’ Capello – S. Polo (ora Layard),” late-nineteenth-century postcard of Venice; right: Gentile Bellini, Portrait of Sultan Mehmet II, 1480 (photograph © National Gallery, London)

What can we learn by following the trajectory of a single object? Taking a renowned but puzzling Renaissance portrait as a starting point, Elizabeth Rodini explores how a fragile fifteenth-century painting speaks to a range of contemporary matters, from the politics of preservation to ideologies of imagery and beyond.

Rodini is Interim Director of the American Academy in Rome, having previously served as Andrew Heiskell Arts Director. Before arriving at the Academy, she was teaching professor and founding director of the Program in Museums and Society at Johns Hopkins University. Her interests lie at the intersections of historical inquiry and contemporary practice, and center on the mobility of objects across time, space, and imagination. Recent work examines the reception of Islamic objects in Venice, museological developments in twentieth-century Paris, and the exhibition of African art in contemporary American museums. This presentation grows out of her recent book, Gentile Bellini’s Portrait of Sultan Mehmet II: Lives and Afterlives of an Iconic Image (London: I. B. Tauris/Bloomsbury, 2020).

The lecture will be held in English.

This event, to be presented in person at the Academy as well as on Zoom, is free and open to the public.


Guests will be asked to comply with Covid-19 safety protocols for events:

  • Access to the Academy requires the presentation of a valid photo ID and a Green Pass
  • Masks are required when indoors, and temperature will be checked before entry
  • Visitor contact information may be shared for contact tracing

Please contact events [at] aarome.org (events[at]aarome[dot]org) with any questions.

Giorno e ora
lunedì 20 settembre 2021
AAR Lecture Room
McKim, Mead & White Building
Via Angelo Masina, 5
Roma, Italia