MEET THE MAN WITH THE KEYS TO THE VATICAN

Every morning Gianni Crea unlocks the doors to history.

“The real privilege is being able, every day, to walk through this and each day learn something new,” says Gianni Crea, head key keeper of the Vatican Museums. “You’re walking through history and you read lessons that all the popes to this date have preserved.”

The Gallery of Statues and the Hall of Busts showcase works like the Sleeping Ariadne and frescoes painted by Pinturicchio. PHOTOGRAPH BY ALBERTO BERNASCONI, MUSEI VATICANI

“Each morning when I enter the Sistine Chapel I experience a string of emotions,” Crea says. PHOTOGRAPH BY ALBERTO BERNASCONI, MUSEI VATICANI

Can’t make it to the Museums this summer? You can still take a behind the scenes look at the man who opens the collections to the 28,000 daily visitors with Gulnaz Khan of National Geographic.

Khan offers a striking profile on Gianni Crea, the head key keeper at the Vatican Museums, detailing the clavigero’s unique perspective on the beauty and significance of the works he watches over. As a devout Catholic, Crea deeply understands the power and special mission of art in faith.

With complete humility, he states “I’m a simple custodian, but for me the beautiful thing is to conserve and look after the keys of history” as he enables guests from all different cultures and religions to find something moving within the collections.

“I know the smell that is waiting for me when I open the first door is the smell of history—the smell that men before us have breathed in.” It’s the very same ground that they have walked, loved, and cried on, he says.

“I have the keys, figuratively speaking, of the history of Christianity—both Christian history and the history of art,” Crea says. “The Vatican Museums, including the Raffaello Rooms and the Sistine Chapel, are among the most beautiful works of art in the world.” PHOTOGRAPH BY ALBERTO BERNASCONI, MUSEI VATICANI

If you want to read more visit the following link:

https://www.nationalgeographic.com/travel/destinations/europe/vatican-city/key-keeper-vatican-museums-photos/?cmpid=org=ngp::mc=social::src=facebook::cmp=editorial::add=fbp20180707travel-newmankeysvatican::rid=&sf193274793=1

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Reopening with new layout of the Saint Paul archaeological area

On the eve of the Solemnity of the Holy Apostles Peter and Paul, and exactly five years since its first inauguration in 2013, the archaeological area of the Monks’ Orchard of Saint Paul Outside-the-Walls will complete a long and complex musealisation project, reopening to the public with a new layout, particularly functional and evocative in terms of the museographic and lighting solutions adopted.

In offering to pilgrims and tourists, in an unprecedented and precious look at medieval Rome, the reopening of the site constitutes the concluding moment of an important and complex conservation, restoration and enhancement project that has involved the fruitful interdisciplinary collaboration of various institutional actors, from the Administration of the Papal Basilica as promoter, to the Vatican Museums via the Department of Christian Antiquities and the Conservator’s Office, from the Pontifical Institute of Christian Archaeology to the School for Specialisation in Architectural and Landscape Heritage of “La Sapienza” University of Rome, as well as the Superior Institute for Conservation and Restoration.

The definitive musealisation project involved the completion of the restoration and cleaning of the ancient walls, and of the floor, wall and ceiling surfaces, the production of more structured lighting systems, the improvement of didactic materials, the in situ display of materials discovered during the excavation, the construction of a boardwalk with elements in crystal and steel and, last but not least, the organization of an ordinary maintenance service for the site to prevent its deterioration and to ensure conservation over time, always with the minimal use additional signs and the adoption of the criterion of minimal intervention.

Useful Links: www.basilicasanpaolo.org

 

At the Table with the Gods. Illustrated Plates from the Carpegna Collections

July 4th, 2018
Sala XVII, Pinacoteca

Following the culmination of the Metal Restoration Laboratory and the Vatican Museums Ceramics Department’s careful restoration work, a precious set of illustrated ceramic plates from the Carpegna Collection can be admired before it soon joins a permanent collection. This special exhibit will open for the summer season on July 4th and will be located in the prestigious Vatican Pinacoteca in Room XVII, which has hosted the prior original initiatives of the Museums at Work expositions.

This “little exhibit,” titled At the Table with the Gods. Illustrated Plates from the Carpegna Collection, is curated by Guido Cornini and is based on a previously successful format, established through The Pope’s Museums. The exposition also serves as a lively workshop for study and research, aiming to communicate and enhance the knowledge and the many daily activities within the Museums. Among the pieces in the collection, are thirty-three out of thirty-four illustrated majolica ceramics, which joined the Decorative Arts Department of the Vatican Museums in 1999 from the old collections of the Apostolic Library.

This set of historically and artistically valuable artifacts were made in the late sixteenth century by the skilled majolica masters of Urbino based on designs by painters from the school of Raphael. Although they are some of the most fascinating seventeenth-century collectibles, they constitute one of the least noted chapters.

Four large thematic groups can be identified in the designs and decorations that characterize the precious set of ceramics. They range from biblically inspired scenes, portraying stories from the Old Testament and the Gospels, to mythological depictions, treating both literary and allegorical topics.

The Carpegna plates collection display is a project sponsored by Mr. & Mrs. Carey of the California Chapter 

THE SOUND OF ART

The Office of the Patrons of the Arts in the Vatican Museums was pleased to host a group of patients from the Bambino Gesù Hospital, a children’s hospital located in Rome under the administration of the Holy See. Our guests, ranging in ages from 3 to 10, gathered in the Vatican Museums with their siblings and parents for a day of summer camp fun. The Vatican in collaboration with the hospital aimed to provide a day of reprieve for these children who suffered from some form of disability, particularly regarding visual impairments. The children were able to participate in activities that largely incorporated sensory stimulation. They gathered leaves and sticks in the Vatican Gardens, physically interacted with statues and busts in the Museo Gregoriano Profano, and even took a “magic carpet” ride—a mechanism that radiated vibrations from music so those hearing-impaired guests could dance along. Our interns had the opportunity to observe as the children played with sound effects of a dinner party. The children erupted into giggles and clapping as the sounds mimicked a kiss, a breaking plate, and even a burp! Soon after, it was revealed the relevance of the sounds was in connection to the floor mosaic below their very feet, the “Asàrotos òikos” mosaic that is scattered with images of a dirty floor left over in an ancient banquet hall. Through the cohesion of various sensory activities (sight, touch, and sound) that are integral to the experience of artifacts in the Vatican Museums, we hope that the children were able to gain an appreciation for that which is housed within our walls.

Project sponsored by the Italian and International Chapter of the Patrons of the Arts in the Vatican Museums, Robyn & Kingsley Mundey and organized by Doctor Isabella Salandri – Public Relations Officer of the Vatican Museums.

 

 

CELEBRATING 25 YEARS OF DIPLOMATIC RELATIONS WITH VATICAN’S TREASURES IN MEXICO

June 20th to October 28th, 2018

Vatican City State

On the occasion of the 25th anniversary of the reestablishment of diplomatic relations between the Holy See and Mexico, San Ildefonso College of Mexico City(l’Antiguo Colegio de San Ildefonso) will host the exhibit, “Vatican: from Saint Peter to Francis. Two Thousand Years of Art and History” (“Vaticano: de San Pedro a Francisco. Dos mil años de arte e historia”), from June 20th to October 28th, 2018.  The exposition is organized by the Vatican Museums (Musei Vaticani) in collaboration with the Factory of Saint Peter (Fabbrica di San Pietro), the Vatican Apostolic Library (Biblioteca Apostolica Vaticana) and the Pontifical Sacristy(Sacrestia Pontificia). More than 180 works from the Vatican Collections will be shown in the Mexican capital- of these, 30 masterpieces from the Pope’s paintings gallery (Pinacoteca del Papa) by artists including Titian, Raphael, Veronese, Bernini, Guido Reni, Melozzo da Forlì, and Barocci. The public will have the opportunity to retrace the origins and traditions of the Roman Church through these artistic creations that testify to the enduring faith and devotion of the last 2000 years of history.

The triple Pontifical Tiara of Pope Leo XIII and the Lateran Custody from the Basilica of St. John Lateran’s treasury are also among the “treasures” that will arrive in the ancient lands of the Aztecs.

The exhibition is co-curated by Adele Breda, Pietro Zander, Sandro Barbagallo and Alessanndra Rodolfo.

Spend a Sunday at the Villas of Castel Gandolfo!

April – October 2018

From April to October, with the exception of the months of July and August, the Pontifical Villas of Castel Gandolfo will welcome visitors also on a Sunday. With the arrival of the warmer season, the special Sunday opening (from 10.00 a.m. to 15.00 p.m. with last entry at 14.00 p.m.) offers a unique opportunity to organize an out of town trip with all the family, and to be immersed in artistic treasures, beautiful landscapes and the food and wine of the Castelli Romani.

“AUSTRALIA. The Vatican Museums indigenous collection”

29 May 2018
Raphael Hall, Pinacoteca, Vatican Museums

On Tuesday 29 May, six years after the inauguration of the new permanent exhibition dedicated to Australia within the Anima Mundi Museum, the Vatican Museums will present “Australia. The Vatican Museums indigenous collection”, curated by Katherine Aigner, the third catalogue in the series of texts on the ethnological collections of the Pope’s Museums, available in Italian and English, and co-published by Edizioni Musei Vaticani andAboriginal Studies Press.

The volume begins with the history of the creation of the Collection, which now comprises around 300 pieces whose origins date back to the first donations made to Pius XI by the Aborigines of Australia. The culture of the faraway continent is examined in its multiple aspects through contributions from authoritative scholars of diverse cultural extraction, and each individual part of the catalogue has been produced in close contact with the aboriginal communities, in accordance with the philosophy of “reconnection” that characterizes both the recent history of the oceanic territory, and the section of the Vatican Museums that houses the ethnological collections.

Indeed, “reconnection” is the key word of this publication, innovative within its genre, and it is the concept around which the process has developed that has allowed the works to be reconnected with their communities of origin, creating a form of intergenerational dialogue from which entirely current themes have emerged, dear also to Pope Francis, such as the importance of the earth, the law and culture, and the conservation of cultural heritage.

The Anima Mundi Museum is not currently accessible to the public as important renovation works are being carried out, but some works from the Australian Aboriginal Collection will be exceptionally on view on the occasion of the catalogue presentation.

Focus on publications of the Vatican Museums

22 May 2018
Conference Hall, Vatican Museums

Vatican Museums Publications will be the undisputed protagonist of the conference to be held on Tuesday 22 May in the presence of the director of the Pope’s Museums, Barbara Jatta, the Director of the Publications Office Federico Di Cesare, and the Director of the Library, Cristina Pantanella.

The introduction by Barbara Jatta, which will focus on the characteristics and the role of the scientific and educational publishing of the Vatican Museums both inside and outside the museum institution, will be followed by an intervention by Federico Di Cesare, offering a brief historical summary of the various publishing activities and organizational and management decisions that have led to the birth of a fully-fledged publishing house, with registered trademark, within the Museums: Edizioni Musei Vaticani. The meeting will also constitute a formal occasion for the presentation of the 2018 edition of the Catalogue of Publications.

The conference will also include a presentation by Cristina Pantanella of the latest Bollettino dei Monumenti Musei e Gallerie Pontificie (XXXIV edizione) [Bulletin of the Monuments, Museums and Pontifical Galleries (XXXIV edition)] and a detailed illustration of its content. The Bulletin, along with its history and evolution from 1977 to the present day, will be examined during the meeting, with special attention to the scientific contributions received in each edition and their high cultural value.

A NEW MEMBER ON BOARD: Welcome to Martina Suozzo

One month ago we welcomed to our office Martina Suozzo. Her story with the Vatican Patrons goes way back–in the past years she worked as a digital communications and marketing consultant and now she’s back for a permanent position.

 

 

“I’m so happy to be part of this amazing team. My goal is to let the world know how precious our Patrons’ contribution to the Vatican Museums is”.

 

A MATTER OF LIGHT: Nine photographers in the Vatican Museums

MAY 24th – JULY 1st

PALAZZO REALE,

Piazza del Duomo 12,

Milan, Italy

 

Photographs by: Bill Armstrong, Antonio Biasiucci, Peter Bialobrzeski, Alain Fleischer, Francesco Jodice, Mimmo Jodice, Rinko Kawauchi, Martin Parr and Massimo Siragusa 

Curated by Micol Forti and Alessandra Mauro 

 

Free entry 

The exhibition A Matter of Light. Nine Photographers in the Vatican Museums (In piena luce. Nove fotografi interpretano i Musei Vaticani), curated by Micol Forti and Alessandra Mauro and conceived by the Vatican Museums, will take place in the Palazzo Reale in Milan from 24 May to 1 July 2018. The exhibition forms part of the rich programme of events for Milan Photoweek 2018. 

Promoted and produced by the Municipality of Milan – Culture Office, Palazzo Reale and the Vatican Museums, in collaboration with Contrasto, the exhibition derives from the plan to constitute the first photographic collection within the Contemporary Art Collection of the Vatican Museums. 

To achieve the ambitious goal of creating a new collection, it was decided to offer an opportunity to reflection and experimentation: to transform an historic, social, multicultural, “ritual”, or rather, fully symbolic location such as the Vatican Museums into the object-subject of the creative work of a group of international photographers, diverse in terms of research perspectives, education, origin and style. 

“The splendid halls of the Palazzo Reale make this first presentation in a public institution even more special”, states the Assessor for Culture for the Municipality of Milan, Filippo Del Corno, “recounting in images one of the most well-known and significant museums in the world. Nine masters of photography, Italian and foreign, take an original approach to a place that is unique and precious in terms of art, history and architecture: the Vatican Museums”. 

The photographers chosen to work within the Vatican Museums are Bill Armstrong, Peter Bialobrzeski, Antonio Biasiucci, Alain Fleischer, Francesco Jodice, Mimmo Jodice, Rinko Kawauchi, Martin Parr and Massimo Siragusa. Each one of them has worked in distinct moments and on different aspects of this multiple museum, producing nine autonomous works that document and interpret the interior and architectural space of the halls, the flow of visitors and the memories that daily animate the people and spaces, the works on display and those conserved in the deposits, signs of wear and tear, and bodily traces. 

It is the first time that a Museum has commissioned a production of this type, aimed at constituting a new photographic collection inseparably linked to the museum itself, which becomes both its subject and its recipient. “To commission from a group of “voices” and “eyes” from the international art scene a sort of reportage that opens the doors of the Vatican Museums, showing them in their complexity, is a bold operation that demonstrates the vitality of a unique place, not without contradictions”, writes Barbara Jatta. 

The project A Matter of Light. Nine photographers in the Vatican Museums is intended to construct a series of pathways between imagination and memory, documentation and interpretation, composing a collection of images that may become an archive of the present, a tool for understanding and observation, a key allowing access to future studies, through visions that, though diverse, are all current and necessary in different ways. 

The exhibition is accompanied by a book edited by Edizioni Musei Vaticani and Contrasto, with essays by David Campany, Giovanni Careri, Micol Forti, Barbara Jatta, Johanne Lamoureux, and Alessandra Mauro. 

The operational costs of this exhibition were sponsored thanks to the generosity of Mr. Peter Farrell, from the  California Chapter and the NY Chapter (Carlson Estate).

and the New

Vatican Museums Press Office

Lucina Vattuone +39.06.69883041 

Contrasto Press and Communication Office 

Valentina Notarberardino +39 06 32828237; vnotarberardino@contrastobooks.com 

Municipality of Milan Press Office

Elena Conenna; elenamaria.conenna@comune.milano.it 

A joint exhibition by City of Milan-Department of Culture, Palazzo Reale and Vatican Museums