May 3, 2011
The Anio gorge at Vicovaro. Photo: current Fellow Casey L. Brown
It may well become an annual ritual. On 30 April, archaeologist Gianni Ponti—veteran Advisor to the American Academy in Rome and a dean at Rome’s IES—once again brought a somewhat incredulous group of AAR Fellows to the Roman aqueducts near Vicovaro (45 km northeast of the city).
The mission at hand? To explore the interiors of the rock-cut aqueducts of the Aquae Marcia and Claudia near the ex-monastery of S. Cosimato at Vicovaro. Saint Benedict himself founded that community in the 6th century AD, on a spectacular site high on the banks of the Anio river gorge.
Read the rest of this entry »
April 26, 2011
On Thursday 28 April 2011, a public of over 100 saw the cortile of the McKim, Mead and White Building at the American Academy in Rome transformed by a collaborative installation entitled X LOCUS. The installation, the creation of four current AAR Fellows, will also be on display from 8-10 PM on Friday 29 April.
X LOCUS features environmental media by Founders Rome Prize Fellows in Architecture Ersela Kripa and Stephen Mueller, sound by Elliott Carter Rome Prize Fellow in Musical Composition Paul Rudy, and lyrics by Andrew W. Mellon Post-Doctoral Rome Prize Fellow in Modern Italian Studies Jennifer Scappettone. Read the rest of this entry »
April 21, 2011
Installation in the Bass Garden by Renaud Auguste-Dormeuil, “I Will Keep A Light Burning—Galileo”. Rome, 14 April 2011. Photo by current AAR Fellow Thomas J. Campanella
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”. To mark the 400th anniversary of this historic achievement, the Academy decided to offer three events, from 7-15 April 2011. You can read a summary of those events, and see the list of sponsors, here.
Below is a photo essay in (more or less) 100 images, of the second and third of these events: an exhibition of historical astronomical instruments from the collection of the Vatican Observatory (Specola Vaticana); and a “Galileo Cabaret” that took place on the exact 400th anniversary (Thursday 14 April 2011) of the baptism of the telescope. The Cabaret and exhibition received worldwide press attention, thanks to AP coverage, that ranged from The Washington Post to The Times of India. Read the rest of this entry »
April 14, 2011
“Galileo’s Eyes”, video by Enzo Aronica projected on the AAR’s Casa Rustica
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 decided to offer three events, starting on Thursday 7 April 2011, with an installment of the AAR’s “Conversations That Matter” series, a dialogue between AAR Director Christopher S. Celenza FAAR’94 and Vatican Astronomer Brother Guy Consolmagno, SJ. Read the rest of this entry »
April 2, 2011
The American Academy in Rome has its fair share of traditions, but one of the most hallowed is its annual Spring Trip for Fellows. Each year, for seven to ten days, a substantial AAR contingent packs up for a didactic jaunt through a Mediterranean area of particular scholarly and artistic interest.
For last year’s Trip, AAR Fellows combined with Members of the American School of Classical Studies at Athens for an expansive journey through Sicily. This year the target was Turkey, with a particular focus on central Anatolia. Read the rest of this entry »
March 24, 2011
On Monday 4 April at 9 PM, the Sala Aurelia at the American Academy’s Villa Aurelia was transformed into a theater space and resonated with the sights and sounds of the Caribbean, as Nobel Laureate and William B. Hart Resident Poet Derek Walcott led a cast including actors Wendell Manwarren, Giovanna Bozzolo and Dean Atta in the world premiere reading of his new play Moon-Child (Ti Jean in Concert).
Derek Walcott was born in St. Lucia (West Indies) and has lived there for most of his life, with frequent travel and teaching abroad, including in the United States (where he taught at Boston University until 2007). In addition to being the author of sixteen books of poetry, Walcott is also a theater director and playwright, and founded the Trinidad Theatre Workshop in 1959 and the Boston Playwrights’ Theatre in 1981. He has written many plays, and also wrote the lyrics for Paul Simon’s musical The Cape Man. Read the rest of this entry »
March 19, 2011
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.
Read the rest of this entry »
March 18, 2011
Porta San Pancrazio is one of the western gates of Rome that opens along its Aurelian Walls. For centuries it has served as a main conduit for traffic to Rome that passes along the Via Aurelia Antica. Rebuilt in 1642—over the perimeter of the new Gianicolo walls commissioned by Pope Urban VIII—it was irreparably damaged by French cannons during the defense of the Roman Republic of 1849. Virginio Vespignani reconstructed this arch in the years 1854-1857, under the patronage of Pope Pius IX. For almost a century the Porta San Pancrazio also has formed an important part of the topography of the American Academy in Rome, whose main entrance on Via Masina is situated no more than 100 meters away.
The Porta San Pancrazio for many years also housed a small museum devoted to the era of Garibaldi, that few had ever managed to see and experience. But no more. The 150th anniversary of Italian unification, which fell on 17 March 2011, saw among much else the inauguration in the upper stories of the Porta of the newly reconstituted “Museo della Repubblica Romana e della Memoria Garibaldina“, which featured appearances by Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi and President Giorgio Napolitano. Read the rest of this entry »
March 11, 2011
Franklin D. Israel Rome Prize recipient Jeremy Mende. Photo: Star Black
Jeremy Mende is wrapping up his six-month fellowship in Design at the American Academy in Rome. As he heads home to San Francisco, signs of Jeremy’s work remain behind, quite literally, all over Rome. Mende’s public art project, “100 Years From Now” features 1000 street signs designed to provoke reflection about our increasingly technology-dependent, climate-changing, globalized world.
Considering the overwhelming positivism of Italian Futurism 100 years ago, he is interested in how, 100 years after Futurism, we now see our future. Is the thought of our future something we celebrate or do we have a more anxious stance? Mende doesn’t raise these and related questions outright. Read the rest of this entry »
March 3, 2011
Thirty years after Russian exile and Nobel Laureate poet Joseph Brodsky (1940-1996) was a Resident at the American Academy in Rome in 1981, the AAR presented A Tribute to Joseph Brodsky on Thursday and Friday 17-18 March 2011.
Six international writers—Roberto Calasso (Italy), Boris Khersonsky (Russia), Mary Jo Salter and AAR Trustee Mark Strand RAAR’83 (USA), 2011 AAR Resident Derek Walcott (St. Lucia) and Adam Zagajewski (Poland) gathered to read from their own work in honor of Brodsky and then to read from Brodsky’s work. They also conversed about Brodsky’s life and literary legacy and respond to questions from the audience, in a two-part program made possible by the generous support of AAR Trustee Nancy M. O’Boyle, the Embassy of the United States of America in Rome, and the Joseph Brodsky Memorial Fellowship Fund. Read the rest of this entry »