VILLA LA PIETRA JOINS #MUSEICHIUSIMUSEIAPERTI

At this time of forced isolation, we wish Villa La Pietra to be open and available virtually as a site of learning, exchange, discussion, and encounters, as it befits the place “Villa” since the Trecento, at the time of Boccaccio’s Decameron, during the Renaissance, at the times of the Medici and Sassetti families, and at the time of Florence Capital City, when the Incontri family, then owners, transformed the spaces of the Villa to welcome visitors, both foreigners and locals.  The Actons were masters at welcoming guests from all over the world and by doing this they fostered relationships and disseminated their passion for culture, with their collections of art, music, books and with their everlasting garden. The library, containing over 12.000 volumes, preserves also two illustrated editions of the Decameron, one in Italian dated 1757, and one in French, dated 1802.

Starting from April 3 2020, we will feature a weekly short “story” related to the Acton family members, an event happened at Villa La Pietra, an object from the collection, a book, a photograph, or a room of the collection or a spot in the garden. Our readers can contribute with their own stories, taking inspiration from the theme featured in our weekly Friday issue. Culture doesn’t stop!

Figures of History: The Neapolitan "Pastori" of the Acton Collection

Weekly Theme: The Sacred and the Profane
August 7, 2020

WEEKLY STORY: FIGURES OF HISTORY - THE NEAPOLITAN "PASTORI" IN THE ACTON COLLECTION

Looking Through the Lens: Celebrating Harold’s Birthday

Weekly Theme: Harmony
July 5, 2020

WEEKLY STORY: LOOKING THROUGH THE LENS - CELEBRATING HAROLD'S BIRTHDAY

Vasari's "Holy Family"

Weekly Theme: Voyages
June 9, 2020

WEEKLY STORY: VASARI'S "HOLY FAMILY"

Mariotto's Gold: Between Virtuosity and Spirituality

Weekly Theme: Coins
May 8, 2020

WEEKLY STORY: MARIOTTO'S GOLD - BETWEEN VIRTUOSITY AND SPIRITUALITY

Distance Learning from the Proverbs of Villa La Pietra

Weekly Theme: Memory
May 1, 2020

WEEKLY STORY: DISTANCE LEARNING FROM PROVERBS AT VILLA ALA PIETRA

A Canterbury Tale Retold for the Actons

Weekly Theme: Distancing
April 25, 2020

WEEKLY STORY: A CANTERBURY TALE RETOLD FOR THE ACTONS

The Lily of Florence

Weekly Theme: Hope
April 17, 2020

Weekly Story: The Lily of Florence

Eyes. Santa Lucia: A Model of Resistance

Weekly Theme: Resistance
April 10, 2020

Weekly Story: Eyes. Santa Lucia: A Model of Resistance

Wash Your Hands!

Weekly Theme: Water
April 3, 2020

Weekly Story: Wash Your Hands!

In response, our students and our readers are asked to send us a short story plus an image taking inspiration from the week’s feature, in subject-matter, materials, chronology, or free association. The best stories will be selected by the Collection Manager and the Villa La Pietra team and appear weekly on our website and Instagram account. The series of novelle will be our way of keeping in touch, until  the “brigade” scatters and Villa La Pietra re-opens its massive doors (just restored!). The series will also remain on our website as a memory of our resilience during the Covid-19 pandemic, a time when we have used culture and our imagination to feel vital despite forced physical isolation.

Francesca Baldry, Collection Manager for the Acton Collection
with the Team of Villa La Pietra

FOR YOUR STORY USE THIS LINK

RESPONSES

WATER

Embroidered Fish

Water is Yinby Claudia Beyer and Costanza Perrone da Zara, Textile Conservators at Villa La Pietra, NYU Florence

Water is the origin of life. It is energy and strength, and every culture has its own iconography and symbols. In the Chinese culture water is the fifth stage of Wu Xing, the five elements and is the most yin in character. Its motion is downward and inward, and its energy is stillness and conserving. (Continued here)….

HOPE

Embroidered Fish

Hope is Spring – by Maggie Raywood, Associate Arts Professor/Costume Director,
Department of Design for Stage and Film, NYU Tisch School of the Arts

At this uncertain and unprecedented time, it has never been clearer to me why we equate Hope with spring, and how we are all looking to those words for solace right now. Just look at all of the ways we use the very word, spring … (Continued here)….

 

COINS

CoinsKeep the Change – by Jean Dommermuth, Consulting Conservator, Villa La Pietra and Lecturer, Conservation Center, Institute of Fine Arts

Coins are practical things. They were devised to facilitate trade, so that it was no longer necessary to find someone who wanted to trade you shoes for your eggs. But, like many useful objects, they are also art and history. Rulers want their faces on coins to proclaim … (Continued here)….

 

HOPE

How do Two Lines Diverge? Or When do They Embroidered FishConvene Again? by Dawson Batchelder, NYU Florence Student

Fearing a dissonance between memory and experience, I had no choice but to tread forward, unassured yet unlocked, drifting away in a pyre of smoke. How do two lines diverge? I walked down a dirt road long forgotten, aglow in a midsummer’s flare, under the pressure of a lazuli sky, buoyed, and weighted, by a feeling that nothing happens twice, no feeling felt again or again. … (Continued here)….

MEMORY

That Pointed Thing – by Javi Chavez, NYU Florence Student

It is kind of wild how a memory can trigger other memories. This Russian doll of memories that is your head, can lead to feelings of appreciation for what the eyes have been able to see. Looking through old pictures seems to trigger this effect for me almost every time. I was waiting for the rice to cook and I am shuffling through my pictures trying to find a screenshot of a meme. I stumbled upon a series of pictures at Villa la Pietra…. (Continued here)….

 


Villa La Pietra adheres to the #museichiusimuseiaperti campaign with the hashtag #ActonsGoingVirtual. A new story or insights from the collection will appear regularly on our Villa La Pietra website and our Instagram account.