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SUF/SUArt Galleries collaborate on new Whistler exhibition in Florence
SUF/SUArt Galleries collaborate on new Whistler exhibition in FlorenceNovember 28, 2007Daeya Malboeufdmking04@syr.edu
Syracuse University in Florence (SUF) and the SUArt Galleries have collaborated on a new exhibit, “An American in Italy: James McNeill Whistler and his Legacy,” which runs through Jan. 12, 2008, at the SUF Art Gallery, located in the Galleria building at Via dei della Robbia 99 in Florence.
The exhibit focuses on the American artist James McNeill Whistler and his sojourn in Venice. On Sept.19, 1879, Whistler arrived in Italy with a commission from the Fine Arts Society of London to create 12 etchings of Venice. Over the ensuing 14 months, the artist produced a body of prints that are among the most important and innovative of his career. His etchings and lithographs have arguably become the most studied prints in the history of art, after those of Rembrandt.
The exhibit was curated by SUArt Galleries Director Domenic Iacono, who selected 35 prints from the SU Collections by Whistler and his followers. The show was purposefully chosen, as it relates to the students’ experiences studying at SUF. “We were thrilled to renew our collaboration with the SUF Art Gallery,” says Iacono. “These exhibits are unique opportunities to reach an audience of students in the SU Abroad campuses and provide an intriguing challenge in choosing subjects and art works that will answer to the particular interests of the international studies student.”
“The SUF Art Gallery was created to provide a new venue for intercultural exchange in our campus and in Florence,” says SUF Center Director Barbara Diemling. “And the success of this mission is proven by the audience we welcomed at the exhibit’s inauguration.”
The opening attracted a blend of SUF students, faculty and staff, who mingled with students from Florence’s other international study programs and members of the Florentine artistic and intellectual community. Consul General of the United States Nora Dempsey complimented SUF on the venture, and her praise was echoed by Antonio Natali, the director of the Uffizi Galleries in Florence. Natali emphasized the importance of artistic exchange between Italy and the United States, and paralleled the current exhibit with an initiative of the Uffizi Galleries, which has sent important landscapes from the gallery’s deposits on a tour of six U.S. states (currently at the Huntsville Museum of Art in Huntsville, Ala.).
SUF Art Gallery Exhibits Coordinator Devorah Block notes the importance of student participation in the development and installation of this most recent exhibit: “We had two students assisting us with research, writing and installation on this project — Carrie Mugridge, a fine arts graduate student, and Ellen Nanni, a printmaking major in the School of Visual and Performing Arts.”
Nanni defined her experience with the project as fundamental to her study abroad experience: “The work I’ve been doing at the gallery is a major part of what is making my studies in Florence such an exciting time and a big part of my decision to stay abroad for a full year.”
“An American in Italy” is open to the public and will remain open with special hours for the benefit of arriving students for the Spring 2008 semester. More information about the exhibition can be found at http://www.syr.fi.it/suf_art_gallery.
For more information on SU Abroad, visit http://suabroad.syr.edu.