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Event Details

Tue, March 12, 2024

18:00 – 19:30

VILLA SASSETTI (Art Studio Colletta)
In-person or on WEBINAR

Villa La Pietra
Via Bolognese, 120
50139 Firenze, Italy

This conference can be attended in person and by webinar.

The primary objective of the conference is to highlight this ephemeral segment of the Acton Photograph Collection and draw attention to a medium that can be considered a precursor to modern platforms like Twitter, email, Flickr, Facebook, and Instagram. During an informal round table we will explore the historical, social, and artistic significance of postcards, which encapsulate elements of communication that combine aspects of various contemporary social media platforms into one tangible form.

NYUFlorence students: Phoebe Price, Lucy Harmon, Insiya Motiwala, and Kayla Zur
Francesca Baldry. Villa La Pietra Collection Manager
Hilary Roberts, Independent Curator of Photography
Alessandra Capodacqua, Photographer and NYUFlorence faculty
Scott Palmer, Coordinator of Instructional Technology and Digital Initiatives and NYUF faculty,

As part of the Museum Meetings program

To register for the webinar, click HERE

To register in person, click HERE

Featured Biographies

Francesca Baldry


Before joining NYU Florence, Francesca Baldry taught art history at several Study Abroad Programs, worked in museums internationally (Dulwich Picture Gallery, Victoria and Albert Museum in London; Palazzo Davanzati in Florence) and collaborated extensively with the Italian Ministry of Culture for exhibitions and catalogue entries. Her scholarly research and publications cover 19th and 20th c. art history and Anglo-American collecting, 19th history of conservation, Renaissance art media, tapestries, cartapesta, history of photography, and preventive conservation in house museums. Currently Francesca Baldry is the Collection Manager at Villa La Pietra: she implements the study of the collection, coordinates the conservation work and its documentation, and organizes projects using the Acton Collection as a didactic open laboratory for NYU undergraduate and graduate students. Currently she is coordinating the digitization and cataloguing of The Acton Photograph Archive and curating a student based exhibition project:  “Growing Up at Villa La Pietra. The Adventures of the Acton Boys” (Fall 2023 and Spring 2024, opening to the public on April 15).

Alessandra Capodacqua


Alessandra Capodacqua, a Naples-born photographer and lecturer at NYU Florence, explores identity and gender through self-portraits using diverse devices from pinhole cameras to smartphones. Her work, displayed globally and part of collections like the Galleria degli Uffizi, also involves curating exhibitions and organizing photography festivals. As a recognized juror and portfolio reviewer, she contributes to the photography community and since 2018, advises and curates for the Collezione Donata Pizzi, featuring over 90 Italian women photographers.

Lucy Harmon


Lucy is a junior undergraduate student at New York University studying art history, museum, and curatorial studies at the Gallatin School of Individualized Study.  For the spring 2024 academic semester, she is studying at NYU Florence and working in the Acton Collection through the Professional Development Opportunity program (PDO). In addition to leading weekly tours around the Villa La Pietra collection, she has aided in rehousing the Acton Postcard Collection to contemporary archival storage and supports community engagement through the Museum’s social media channels.

Insiya Motiwala


Insiya is a junior undergraduate student at NYU Abu Dhabi studying Art History and Interactive Media. Last fall, she studied at NYU Florence and was one of the Professional Develpment Opportunity student at Villa la Pietra, interacting with the Acton Collection.  She worked on rehousing the Acton Postcard Collection to archival storage and has closely interacted with the collection as a whole as she researched for the “Growing Up at the Villa” exhibition.

Scott Palmer


Scott Palmer, Adjunct Lecturer and Coordinator for Instructional Technology and Digital Initiatives, received his PhD in English from Tufts University in 2006. His areas of specialization include: nineteenth-century transatlantic literature of migration, travel, tourism; early nineteenth-century visual culture (photography, lithography, cartography); race and cultural studies. He teaches courses for Liberal Studies and the Gallatin School of Individualized Study.

Phoebe Price


Phoebe is a junior undergraduate student at Williams College studying art history and Italian language. Currently studying at NYU Florence for the academic year, she is a Professional Development Student in the Acton Collection for the Fall 2023 and Spring 2024 semesters. Among other projects, she has worked on rehousing the Acton Postcard Collection to contemporary archival storage and has consulted the collection during her research in the “Growing Up at the Villa” on-site exhibition.

Hilary Roberts


Hilary Roberts is an independent curator of photography, specializing in the history and practice of conflict photography. She studied at universities in England and Germany before joining the Imperial War Museum (IWM) Photograph Archive as a curator in 1980.  As the Archive’s Head Curator (1996 – 2013), she oversaw the development of IWM’s photographic collections and the Archive’s transition to digital photography, before moving to a research role in 2013.  In 2017, Hilary received the Royal Photographic Society’s International Award for Curatorship.  She retired from IWM in 2023 and now works as an independent curator of photography.

Hilary has numerous broadcasts, publications and exhibitions to her name, including IWM’s highly praised trilogy of exhibitions Don McCullin: Shaped by War (2010-2012), Cecil Beaton: Theatre of War (2012) and Lee Miller: A Woman’s War (2015 – 2016).   She also serves as an adviser to a number of institutions.  In 2023, her projects included collaborations with the National Library of Romania, Museum Boijmans van Beuningen in Rotterdam, the Royal Photographic Society, the Lee Miller Archives, the Herald Newspaper Archive and the Photowalk Show.

Kayla Zur


Kayla is a senior undergraduate student at NYU studying Art History and Urban Design. Last fall, she studied at NYU Florence and was a professional Develpment Oppurtunity student at Villa la Pietra, interacting with the Acton Collection. She worked on rehousing the Acton Postcard Collection to archival storage and has closely interacted with the collection as a whole as she researched for the “Growing Up at the Villa” exhibition.