Past IAS/Kress Lectures

In May 2010, the Italian Art Society together with the Samuel H. Kress Foundation launched a new lecture series. Known as the IAS/Kress Lectures in Italy, this series seeks to promote intellectual exchanges among art historians of North America and the international community of scholars living or working in Italy. The IAS would like to recognize the generous sponsorship of the Kress Foundation for this lecture series.

Megan Holmes, “New Perspectives on the Reception of Florentine Panel Painting: Interpreting Scratch Marks.”
The seventh annual IAS/Kress Italian Lecture series took place on 1 June 2016 at Villa I Tatti, The Harvard University Center for Italian Renaissance Studies, Florence. Megan Holmes (University of Michigan) was the featured lecturer. Read abstract


Nino Zchomelidse, “Scena Sacra – Tribuna Civica: Il ruolo dell’ambone nella Campania medievale.”
The sixth annual IAS/Kress Italian Lecture series took place on 20 May 2015 at 4 p.m in the Aula Piovanni of the Dipartimento di Studi Umanistici at the complex of San Pietro Martire, part of the Università degli Studi di Napoli Federico II. Professor Nino Zchomelidse (Johns Hopkins University) presented a lecture in Italian titled “Scena Sacra – Tribuna Civica: Il ruolo dell’ambone nella Campania medievale.” Prof. Zchomdelidse is a specialist in the arts of medieval Italy and their connections with the lands of the eastern Mediterranean, and her recent work has focused especially on liturgical furnishings, manuscripts, and pulpits. Read abstract


Kress Lecture 2014 2014 IAS/KRESS LECTURE IN PISA, ITALY
Jean Cadogan, “Maravigliose istorie: The Mural Decoration of the Camposanto in Pisa”
The fifth annual IAS/Kress Italian Lecture series took place on Tuesday, May 27 at the Gipsoteca of the Università di Pisa, San Paolo all’Orto, Piazza San Paolo all’Orto, 21. Cadogan’s lecture examined the murals painted by Benozzo Gozzoli in the context of the changing civic function of the Camposanto in the fifteenth century, as well as altered economic, social, and political conditions in Pisa. Dr. Cadogan is Professor of Fine Arts at Trinity College in Hartford, CT and the author of Domenico Ghirlandaio, Artist and Artisan (Yale University Press, 2001). Hosted by the Dipartimento di Civiltà e Forme del Sapere, lecture attendees were invited to enjoy a reception and further conversation after the talk.
McHamLecturePoster4 2013 IAS/KRESS LECTURE IN ITALY, Rome
Sarah Blake McHam, “Laocoön, or Pliny Vindicated”
The fourth annual IAS/Kress Italian Lecture Series was hosted on Tuesday, May 28 at the Fondazione Marco BessoLargo di Torre Argentina #11, followed by a reception for all attendees.On January 14, 1506, a discovery shook the artistic and antiquarian worlds of Italy. After decades of digging up unidentifiable fragments, a major over-life-size statue group was unearthed in Rome that was both almost complete and autographed. The subject matter, Laocoőn and his two sons entangled by murderous sea serpents, was unusual enough to be readily recognized as the doomed Trojans Virgil had described (Aeneid 2.201-27). Furthermore, the marble was inscribed with the names of the collaborators, Hagesandros, Polydorus and Athenodorus. The sculpture’s subject and signatures allowed it to be readily matched to the Roman Pliny the Elder’s lengthy laudatory description in his Natural History (c. 77 AD). If Pliny’s notice confirmed the sculpture was the Laocoön, then its discovery had the reciprocal effect of corroborating Pliny’s accuracy and reliability. As this paper will show, the Natural History solidified its status as a favorite reference source throughout the sixteenth century. The demonstrated unimpeachable nature of Pliny’s testimony influenced period developments in both Italian art and theory.
Debra Pincus, “The Lure of the Letter: Renaissance Venice and the Recovery of Antique Writing”
The third annual IAS/Kress Italian Lecture Series was hosted on Wednesday, June 6 at the Palazzo Franchetti, Campo S. Stefano, part of the Istituto Veneto di Scienze, Lettere ed Arti. A light reception followed the talk. The IAS would like to recognize the numerous people who helped in the planning and facilitation of the event: Janna Israel, Meital Shai, Stefano Riccioni, Cristiana Filippini, Gail Solberg, and Cathleen Fleck and, at the Palazzo Franchetti, Sandro Franchini and Giovanna Palandri.
Dr. Alison Luchs, National Gallery of Art, Washington, “The Wake of Desiderio: His Impact on Sculpture of the Late Quattrocento.”
The second IAS/Kress Lecture in Italy took place in Florence on June 8, 2011.  Dr. Alison Luchs, Curator of Early European Sculpture at the National Gallery of Art in Washington, D.C., spoke at the Accademia delle Arti del Disegno, and a visit to the Palazzo dell’Arte dei Beccai followed the lecture and reception. Thanks are due to Gail Solberg, who served as the on-the-ground coordinator for the event.   Segretario Generale Domenico Zangheri and Dr. Silvia La Rossa facilitated the use of the Accademia delle Arti del Disegno and the Palazzo dell’Arte dei Beccai.
Herbert L. Kessler, Johns Hopkins University, “Visione e immagine. Bifocal seeing in Medieval Italian Art.”
The inaugural lecture, held May 26, 2010, featured Herbert L. Kessler, Professor of Early Christian and Medieval Art in the Department of the History of Art at the Zanvyl Krieger School of Arts and Sciences of Johns Hopkins University. The lecture was held in the Sala Alessandrina of the Archivio di Stato di Roma, Sant’Ivo alla Sapienza Complex.  The 2010 IAS/Kress Lecture in Italy was dedicated to the memory of Philipp and Raina Fehl, great friends of the IAS and Kress Foundation.  The IAS would like to thank Cristiana Filippini and Daria Borghese for their assistance with the local arrangements.  The IAS furthermore would also like to recognize Eugenio Lo Sardo, Director of the Archivio di Stato, for generously hosting the lecture at his institution.

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