Museology and Values: the international symposium on art and on its significance today
On Friday 28th and Saturday 29th September, at the Auditorium of the Ente Cassa di Risparmio of Florence, directors and curators of the major museums of the world, together with professionals of museology and architecture, will be protagonists of Museology & Values: the international Symposium organized from the Opera del Duomo.
The idea for Museology and Values: Art and Human Dignity in the 21st Century arises from the Cathedral Foundation’s recent experience in designing a new installation for the Museo dell’Opera del Duomo. The conference hopes to stimulate exchange among museum professionals on the role of historic art in today’s global culture, with speakers and round-table participants, who are directors and curators of world-class museums, academics in the field of museology and architects working with museums. They will recount their experiences in this area: problems and solutions, experiments and hopes, dreams.
A central question is whether 21st-century women and men still believe that museums can, through the way they display art, help shape their visitors’ sense of the dignity of the person. Through the readings of history and style which they propose, can museums help bridge the gap that today seems to separate present from past, isolating individuals and groups in a contemporaneity without roots? If so, how? If not, why?
Founded in 1891, the Florence Museo dell’Opera del Duomo was enlarged and rethought in 2013-2015 and today is considered an innovative response to the challenge of displaying historic art. Site-specific, the museum hosts masterpieces created for the Florence Baptistery, Cathedral and Giotto’s Bell Tower, telling the story of those buildings withinstallations that evoke the original architectural settings and groupings, the mix of media and atmosphere of prayer for which the statues, paintings, liturgical objects and vestments were
destined. Short room texts, films, applications, organized tours and a printed guidebook help visitors grasp the relation between content, form and function in the periods which produced the works, making their messages intelligible to today’s global public. A main objective is to communicate the universal values which art’s beauty exalts.
On Friday September 28th from 9.00am to 4.30pm, the Director of the Museo dell'Opera del Duomo of Florence, Timothy Verdon, will open the conference together with the contributions of Barbara Jatta, Director of the Vatican Museums; Mikhail Borisovič Piotrovskij, Director of the State Hermitage Museum; Jean-Luc Martinez, Director of the Louvre Museum; Julien Chapuis, Director of the Bode Museum, Berlin State Museums; Susanna Avery Quash, Senior Research Curator for the National Gallery in London; Allen Quine, Vice President of International Relations at the Bible Museum in Washington, DC; Eike Schmidt, Director of the Uffizi Galleries.
James Bradburne, Director of the Pinacoteca di Brera, will be the moderator.
The Round Tables
Two round tables will take place in the afternoon of Friday 28th and in the morning of Saturday 29th.
First round table:
On Friday September 28th, starting at 4.30pm, a round table will explore the previously debated themes. Participants are Mounia Chekhab Abudaya, Curator of the North African and Iberian collection of the Museum of Islamic Art in Doha; Christian Greco, Director of the Egyptian Museum of Turin; Cecilie Hollberg, Director of the Accademia Gallery in Florence; Ulrike Lorenz, Director of the Kunsthalle-Mannheim; Paola Marini, Director of the Gallerie dell'Accademia di Venezia.
The moderator is Cristina Acidini, President of the Academy of Design Arts in Florence, former Superintendent of the Florentine Museum Pole and Responsible for the safeguard of the Historical and Artistic Heritage of Florence.
Second round table:
On Saturday September 29th, from 9:30am to 1:00pm, a second round table and the closing discussion will conclude the conference. The protagonists will be Paolo Biscottini, Professor of the Università Cattolica del Sacro Cuore in Milan; Guido Canali, Architect at Canali Associati in Parma; Maria Concetta di Natale, Professor of the University of Palermo; Marco Magni, Architect at Guicciardini & Magni Architetti in Florence; Boris Micka, Exhibit Designer at BMA - Boris Micka Associates in Sevilla; Adeline Rispal, Architect at Studio Adeline Rispal - Associated architects and exhibition designers in Paris.
The moderator is Adolfo Natalini, Architect and Full Professor of the Faculty of Architecture of Florence, Responsible for the projects of the new Uffizi and the new Museo dell'Opera del Duomo of Florence.