On 7 and 14 April 2011, Celebrating the 400th Anniversary of Galileo on the Gianicolo

The American Academy’s Casa Rustica (in the present Bass Garden) occupies the precise site where, on Thursday 14 April 1611, Galileo made his first demonstration to a learned audience in Rome of his new invention, named on this occasion as the “telescope”. That evening represents the baptism of Galileo’s device as a true scientific instrument, as well as its inaugural presentation for scrutiny by members of the Church. To mark the 400th anniversary of this historic achievement, the Academy is offering three events, starting on Thursday 7 April 2011 (5 PM), with an installment of the AAR’s “Conversations That Matter” series.

Plus from Thursday 7 April (6.30 PM) through Friday 15 April 2011 the Academy’s Gallery will host an exhibition organized by the Specola Vaticana (Vatican Observatory). And on the actual anniversary, Thursday 14 April 2011 (7-11 PM), the Academy will see an evening-long indoor and outdoor program of music, readings, art installations, multimedia performances, and participatory stargazing, entitled the Galileo Cabaret. For the Cabaret there are just 400 (free) tickets; see registration information below. Each of these Galileo-related events is made possible through the generous support of Finmeccanica.

Here is a summary of the arc of Galileo events:

Thursday 7 April 2011 (5 PM), Conversation: an installment of the AAR’s “Conversations That Matter” series, exploring issues of science and faith, and hosted by AAR Director Christopher S. Celenza FAAR’94. Participants include Brother Guy Consolmagno, S.J. (author of Brother Astronomer and Turn Left at Orion, and curator of the Vatican Meteorite Collection at Castel Gandolfo) and others.

Thursday 7 April (opening 6.30 PM) through Friday 15 April 2011, Exhibition: an exhibition organized by the Specola Vaticana (Vatican Observatory) in the Academy’s Gallery, featuring one of the world’s finest collections of historical instruments for observing the sky and identifying stars and celestial bodies. Also contributing to the exhibition is Florence’s Museo Galileo, which is loaning to the AAR a replica of a 1610 Galileo telescope, one that traveled in 2009 on the space shuttle Atlantis.

Thursday 14 April 2011 (7-11 PM), Galileo Cabaret: in the Academy’s Gallery, Cortile and Bass Garden, an evening-long indoor and outdoor program of music, readings, art installations, multimedia performances, and participatory stargazing. The Academy’s Rome Sustainable Food Project and associated vendors will cater the event, with food and drink evocative of the Age of Galileo. Generously sponsoring the wine for the event is Consorzio Tutela Vino Bardolino DOC; also featured is artisian olive oil by Madi.

The Galileo Cabaret will take place even in the unlikely event of rain. Please see the end of this post for ticket information.

Performing at the Casa Rustica: Culture Brothers; Huck Hodge (Luciano Berio Rome Prize recipient) with Karen Yasinsky (Joseph H. Hazen Rome Prize recipient); Paul Rudy (Elliott Carter Rome Prize recipient) with Erika Eckert; also Dava Sobel, author of Galileo’s Daughter.

Huck Hodge and Paul Rudy will each offer world premieres of musical compositions specially commissioned for the event.

Presenting installations throughout the American Academy: Enzo Aronica, N[ever]land (projections on Casa Rustica exterior); Renaud Auguste-Dormeuil, French Academy in Rome (“I Will Keep a Light Burning”); Helidon Gjergji (intervention in 16th century basement levels of Casa Rustica); Giovanna Latis, AAR Italian Affiliated Fellow in the Arts (“Brancusi 03” in Gallery); Luigi Ontani (“Canopo Galileo ChiniLei”, pictured on invitation above); Paola Pivi, AAR Italian Affiliated Fellow in the Arts (“Leoni”); Marco Raparelli, AAR Italian Affiliated Fellow in the Arts (collectible event T-shirts);  Adrian Van Allen, Cynthia Hazen Polsky and Leon Polsky Rome Prize recipient (replicas of Galileo telescopes, to be exhibited in the Gallery and also for stargazing).

Stargazing: Musei Scientifici, Roma Capitale; also Fabio Carnevale.

The event is organized by AAR Mellon Professor Corey Brennan in collaboration with Enzo Aronica (N[ever]land).

Thursday 14 April 2011 ticket information: You may preregister for a (free) ticket for the Galileo Cabaret using this link. The total number of tickets for the event is limited to 400. Each adult must present an individual ticket at the entrance; accompanying children (18 and under) do not need a ticket.

From 5-12 April preregistered participants will receive personalized, non-transferable tickets via email attachment, which they must print and present at the AAR Gate (Via A. Masina, 5) for admission on the night of the event. (Note: this represents a modification of previously announced procedure.)

No tickets will be available at the door on the evening of the Galileo Cabaret.

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