SU fine arts professor one of three international co-chairs for interdisciplinary workshop to study ‘Gates of Paradise’
SU fine arts professor one of three international co-chairs for interdisciplinary workshop to study ‘Gates of Paradise’January 17, 2006Jaime Winne Alvarez email@example.com
Gary Radke, professor of fine arts in The College of Arts and Sciences at Syracuse University, is one of three international co-chairs who will lead an interdisciplinary workshop this spring on the creation of Italian sculptor Lorenzo Ghiberti’s “Gates of Paradise” (“Porta del Paradiso”). The trio has planned and organized the workshop, funded by a grant from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, taking place in Florence, Italy, Feb.1-3.
Organized by an international steering committee under the auspices of the Museo Opificio delle Pietre Dure in Florence, the High Museum of Art in Atlanta and the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City, the workshop will bring together a select group of 40 international scientists, conservators and art historians to study and discuss the creation of the “Gates of Paradise,” as newly revealed through restoration, archival research, scientific investigations and extensive new photography. The group’s discussions will be dedicated to reaching sophisticated new understandings of Ghiberti’s technology and creativity.
In 1401, Florentine Ghiberti came to prominence as the winner of a competition to create a set of bronze doors for the Florence Baptistery. After Ghiberti completed the first set of doors, the Merchants’ Guild, which maintained the Baptistery, commissioned Ghiberti to create a second set for a remaining entryway. Those doors have come to be known as the famed “Gates of Paradise,” which consist of 10 large relief sculptures depicting scenes from the Old Testament. Dozens of smaller figures, animals and plant life also populate the frame.
The workshop will begin with an inaugural lecture framing general questions and themes, followed by working sessions on archival documentation, aspects of casting and finishing, and broad art historical questions evaluating the significance of Ghiberti’s work on the “Gates of Paradise” and synthesizing prior discussions. The workshop will also include formal papers and short responses, roundtable discussions, examination of the sculpture in small interdisciplinary groups, and plenary discussions to provide both structure and freedom for spirited discussion and discovery.
“This workshop has been conceived as an interdisciplinary laboratory,” says Radke. “We have taken great care to invite participants who are committed to lively, open and proactive cross-disciplinary discussion and debate, people who are both highly expert in their own fields and especially interested in what they can learn from other disciplines.”