Photo Credit: The Acton Photograph Archive, Photographs of William Acton aged 15 and Harold Acton aged 18

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Event Details

Wed, March 06, 2024

12:30 – 13:45

Villa La Pietra
Via Bolognese, 120
50139 Firenze, Italy

(NYU Florence Students-only)

(For NYU Florence students-only)

The Backstory – Fall 2023, a group of NYU Florence students explore what it was like for the Acton boys, Harold (1904-1994) and his brother William (1906-1945), to grow up at Villa La Pietra.  The students used primary source materials from the Acton family’s archive and collections: photographs, postcards, books, toys, the villa itself and the gardens to show how the boys grew up in this unique environment, the ways in which they learned and played, explored beauty through art and nature, eavesdropped on the conversations of their parents and their guests and shared with their friends the experiences of being third culture children.

Spring 2024Growing Up at the Villa: The Adventures of the Acton Boys Continue! This semester we seek interested students to produce further research on the Acton boys focussing on the years of World War I (1914 – 1918). By using primary source materials found in the Acton Archive, House Museum, local Florence libraries and archives, we hope to explore what it was like for the teenage Acton boys and their friends to grow up in the shadow of the first world war. How did the local community of international residents in Florence rally to support the soldiers fighting in the war? What impact did this war have on a generation of children born in the first decade of the 20th century? 

The Invitation – Students interested in continuing this exploration into the lives of the Acton boys are invited to join us for a “sneak peek” of the Growing Up at the Villa Project followed by a light lunch and conversation to learn how to get involved in phase two – the Acton boys during World War I (1914-1918).  Bring your curiosity, questions and ideas. We look forward to meeting you!

As part of the Museum Meetings program