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Eileen Myles
Writer and Poet Read More ...
Elisa Biagini
Poet and Lecturer, NYU Florence Read More ...

I declare
That later on
Even in an age unlike our own
Someone will remember who we are

- Sappho

The images of women within the Acton Collection of Villa La Pietra are numerous and richly varied. From a predominance of religious iconography in fine and decorative arts, to mythological and allegorical depictions, portraiture and scenes of domesticity, every room in the collection of some 6000 objects provides documentation through which to explore the symbolic function of gender roles and relationships across centuries. While we can enjoy the Acton Collection on the level of an aesthetic experience, a display of collecting taste, or an archive of historic art, as active viewers we become aware of a crucial tension between the gender constructions these images represented when created and their meaning and resonance in contemporary social and political contexts today.

Using the Acton Collection as both a productive and discursive site, this project examines the depiction of women with a transhistorical perspective, adding into the Villa’s collection contemporary responses by artists and poets in an effort to investigate, challenge and expand upon received art historical categories of iconography, patronage, material and function. With the undergraduate population of NYU Florence and La Pietra Dialogues, this project will explore the issues of gender, power and representation evident in the collection and search for reverberations of this visual history in contemporary artistic, social and political contexts.

NYU FLORENCE STUDENTS: More information about the special student project here

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Eileen Myles

Poetry Talk: Born to Describe

February 1, 6:00 pm, Villa La Pietra

Poetry Workshop and Reading: How We Write

February 2, 5-8 pm, Villa La Pietra (students only)

Eileen Myles, Poet, and Elisa Biagini, Poet, NYU Florence

Iconography of Violence:

Reading the Rotunda Frescos

February 7, 6:00 pm, Villa La Pietra

Silvia Giorgi, NYU Florence

Marilena Caciorgna, University of Siena

Contemporary Artists Respond: Artist Talks and Workshops

Alessandra Capodacqua: Artist Talk and Workshop

Between Representation and Re-Interpretation: Women and Photography in the Acton Photo Archive

February 20, 6:30 pm, Villa La Pietra

Photography Workshop: Representing the Self

February 21, 12:30-2pm, Villa Sassetti (students only)

Zoe Buckman: When the Hard Meets the Soft: An Examination of the Complexities of Traditional “Femininity” and Female Empowerment

March 7, 6:00 pm, Villa La Pietra

Artist Workshop

March 8-9, time tbc, Villa La Pietra

Deborah Willis Artist Talk: Reframing Beauty: Intimate Visions

March 14, 6:00 pm, Villa Sassetti

Patricia Cronin: Artist Talk and Workshop

Social Justice and Aesthetic Responsibilities

April 11, 6:00 pm, Villa La Pietra

Artist Workshop: Women in Public and Private in Florence

April 12 and 13, time tbc, Villa La Pietra (students only)

Open Collection Opportunities for Students

February 9, 15, 20, from 10:00 am - 5:00 pm, Villa La Pietra

Women on the Fringes: Heretics and Witches

February 14, 6:00 pm, Villa La Pietra

Matteo Duni, NYU Florence

Depicting Women in Film: Where Are We Now?

Presentation with Movie Clips and Film Screenings

February 27 and March 1, 6:00pm, Villa Sassetti

Gail Segal, New York University, Tisch School of the Arts

Women and Violence: Contemporary Reverberations

March 8, 6:00 pm, Villa Sassetti

Debora Spini, NYU Florence

Vital Voices: Women and International Leadership Development

April 19, 6:00 pm, Villa Sassetti

Alyse Nelson, President, Vital Voices Global Partnership

The Burkini Controversy: Representations of Muslim Women in Europe Today

Izzedin Elzir, Imam of Florence, Date tbc, Villa Sassetti

Student Exhibition Opening

May 2, Villa La Pietra

Related event: Conference on Vittoria Colonna, April 20 and 21, Villa Sassetti in connection with Acton Lecture Series

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Students Are Invited to Respond Creatively to Villa La Pietra's Acton Collection as part of this Spring's 'Picturing Women' project
As part of the Picturing Women: Constructions of Gender in the Acton
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