2014 Academy Opening Reception

September 26, 2014
Academy leadership with Opening Reception guests
Academy President Mark Robbins with US Ambassador John Phillips and his wife, Linda Douglass
Academy Trustee Ginevra Elkann speaks with a guest.
2014 Opening Reception in the Bass Garden
Academy Director Kim Bowes addresses the audience
AAR President Mark Robbins, Professor-in-Charge of the School of Classical Studies Lindsay Harris, IFOA Chair Elizabeth Minchilli, and Trustee Ginevra Elkann
Guests at Academy's 2014 Opening Reception
Academy President Mark Robbins greets the community
AAR Trustee Ginevra Elkann introduces Italian Affiliate Fellows
Andrew W. Mellon Professor-in-Charge of the School of Classical Studies Lindsay Harris with Director Kim Bowes
2014 Opening Reception in the Bass Garden
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Every autumn the American Academy in Rome welcomes new Fellows and Residents to the start of the year with a gathering of the wider Rome community.  At the 2014 Opening Reception, the achievements of the Fellows and Italian Affiliated Fellows were celebrated alongside the appointments of a new Director and a new Andrew W. Mellon Professor-in-Charge of the School of Classical Studies.

President Mark Robbins, FAAR’97, was the first to address guests and spoke of this special moment as being a time of transition and beginnings for the Academy. As Director Kim Bowes, FAAR’06, stated in her subsequent words of welcome, “we have a new president, a new director, a new Mellon Professor, and a new mandate – to make the Academy ever more inclusive, more diverse, more out there.” Bowes and Mellon Professor Lindsay Harris, FAAR’14, join Andrew Heiskell Arts Director Peter Benson Miller and President Robbins in what Robbins described as the task of building on the existing achievements of the Academy, “enhancing its ability to evolve and sustain itself as a meaningful contemporary institution, while also contributing to the new vitality of the city.”

Dr. Bowes slipped seamlessly into her new position this summer, after serving for two years as the Mellon Professor, while Lindsay Harris now assumes the role, having completed her Rome Prize Fellowship last year. As a historian of 19th- and 20th- century photography, she is the first modernist to be appointed to this position. After a short introduction, Professor Harris spoke about her attempts to integrate past traditions and present modernities in her work and shared a few words about her recent experience as a Fellow.

In his remarks Mr. Robbins emphasized that Fellows and Residents are “at the core of what we do to support the arts and humanities,” but that what “begins in this small community” has a profound impact that “radiates beyond.” Each Fellow will bring a change to the Academy -- just as the Academy will inevitably change each Fellow. Dr. Bowes reiterated that the Academy is a “collaborative machine, whose collective brain power is so much greater than the power of one brain alone.”

With this in mind, Academy Trustee Ginevra Elkann had the important task of highlighting the strong ties between the Academy and Italy by introducing three of the Academy’s Italian Fellows: Cy Twombly Italian Affiliated Fellow in Visual Arts Francesca Grilli and American Academy in Rome /Scuola Normale Superiore di Pisa Exchange Fellows Daniele Giorgi and Giulia d’Angelo. Chair of the Italian Friends of the Academy, Elizabeth Helman Minchilli, then extended a warm welcome to Fellows, Residents, Affiliated Fellows and their families.

Following these formal remarks, guests returned to individual discussions, inaugurating another year of continual introductions, exchanges, collaborations and innovations.