Museum Meetings consist of a series of conversations dedicated to various aspects of art and museums, including art history, photography, anthropology, collecting, curation, techniques and media, conservation, and the role of museums and archives in society today. It originates in the Acton Collection at Villa La Pietra and expands to other art spaces in Florence and Tuscany. It is designed to attract a multidisciplinary group of students, not just those studying art or art history. All the meetings are conceived as discussions and envisage an active participation. Francesca Baldry, Collection Manager at Villa La Pietra, organizes the meetings and welcomes suggestions from students.

(some dates are pendings and activities are subject to change due to the Covid 19 related obligations)

Monday, February 14 – 4:30 pm (Villa La Pietra)
What is a Collection?: Ways of Looking and ReflectingGuided tour with discussion in the Acton Collection

Tuesday, February 22 – 10:00 am – 12:00 pm (Villa La Pietra)
Hortense Mitchell Acton’s Reception of China in Her Fashion
Guided tour to the temporary display project on the second floor of the Villa and to other collection rooms with a focus on cross cultural connections.

Friday, February 25 – 10:00 am – 12:00 pm (Museo Stibbert)
Visit to the Museo Stibbert
Exploring the house museums of a friend of Hortense Mitchell Acton, the eclectic collector Frederick Stibbert who lived close to Villa La Pietra and came often for a tea. The museum preserves an incredible number of artworks connected to his interest in the history of costumes and armors, but also old master paintings, tapestries, and porcelain. We will discuss analogies and differences and learn about the interests of both collectors for travel and other cultures.

March 7 – 3:00 – 4:00 PM (Villa La Pietra)
Technical Art History in Action: Updates from the Acton Collection Research Projects
Join a conservator and an art historian in the collection at the Villa La Pietra, to see what two artworks can reveal with the help of a microscope, a UV light, and some curiosity!
With: Scarlett H. Strauss, Ph.D. Candidate, Institute of Fine Arts, Theodore Rousseau Fellow and Annika Svendsen Finne, Ph.D. Candidate, Institute of Fine Arts, Graduate School of Arts and Science.

Tuesday, March 8 – 6:15 – 7:45 PM (Webinar)
Fascination, Approximation, or Appropriation? Hortense Mitchell Acton’s Reception of China in Her Fashion 
Fascination, Approximation, or Appropriation? What did it mean for Hortense to wear a Chinese coat for a dinner at La Pietra, or to ask the family friend Umberto Brunelleschi, a magazine illustrator and opera costume designer, to create a ‘Chinese style’ outfit for a theatre event where she performed? Or to commission the French House Callot Soeurs to design evening dresses with butterflies, or peonies, or a bat motif? To use a diagonal cut or large bat sleeves?  Or a long straight waist and corset-less dress?

Wednesday, March 30 – 5:30 – 7:00 PM (Palazzo Strozzi)
Donatello, the Renaissance
A site visit to the Palazzo Strozzi Exhibition.

Tuesday, April 1 – 10:00 am – 12:00 noon (Piazza Santa Trinita)
Collecting in Florentine Homes: The Chris and Florence Levett’s Private Collection 
Former investment manager, now full-time art collector Christian Levett and his wife Florence recently moved to the city. Their central Florence home is an inspiring gallery in its own right, hung with abstraction art by women artists, alongside classical busts and lovingly framed family photos. A visit to talk about contemporary art on the International Women’s Day.Wednesday,

April 5 – 12:00 – 1:30 PM (Villa La Pietra)
Donatello and his Workshop, in the Acton Collection
Exploring Villa La Pietra’s collection of Renaissance sculpture.