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April 2018


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The Women behind AWA Women world-wide band together to support art and conservation. One of the most exciting things about AWA is the connection we create between women artists of the past and modern women. AWA brings together ladies from all nations and ‘walks of knowledge‘ who have decided to join our quest.

AWA Officers

Volunteers – Florence Advocates

Jane Fortune, Founder and Chair Nancy Galliher, Vice Chair Alice Vogler, Secretary

Helen Bayley Annarita Caputo Tina Carrari Claire Eskander Valentina Grossi Orzalesi Kirsten Hills Georgette Jupe Rossella Lari Susan Madocks Lister Silvia Mascalchi Sara Matthews-Grieco Adelina Modesti Sara Papini Cheryl Pappas Viola Parretti Federica Parretti Sasha Perugini Deirdre Pirro Sabine Pretsch Myrtò Psicharis Fiona Richards Emily Sue Rosner Rea Stavropoulos Emily Schiavone Michelle Tarnopolsky Gabriella Tonini Paola Vojnovic Elizabeth Wicks

Board of Directors Noreen Ackerman Mary Clare Broadbent Cathryn R. Fortune Nancy Hunt Betty Schneider Pam Fortune

International Advisory Council Susan Angelastro Suzanne Apple Kristine Bouaichi Connie Clark Pepper Dowd Joan Jacobs Debbie Lilly Margaret MacKinnon Donna Malin Eizabeth Negrey Elisa Piccini Jennifer Templeton Dorothee Volpini Maestri


Florence Executive Committee

Linda Falcone, Director

Jane Adams Sheila Barker Linda Falcone Leslie Jameff Kathryn Rakich

Jane Adams, Partnership Relations

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Susanna Bracci Simonetta Brandolini d’Adda Andrea L. Davis Hermione Grassi Lyall Harris Penny Howard Alexandra Korey Andrina Lever Donata Magrini Poiret Masse Molly McIlwrath Freya Middleton

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Welcome April 2018


Spring 2018


he birth of spring brings budding ideas and this edition of Inside AWA is no exception! As you turn its pages, join me in celebrating the foundation's ever-


expanding journey. In the last six months, two of our restored works have returned to Palazzo Vecchio (Nelli's Annunciation and a Medici portrait of Anna Maria Luisa), hence the 'palace'

Palazzo Vecchio welcomes Plautilla Artemisia all around Sojourn strong AWA saves the Sage Princess


cover! From hands-on restoration workshops, guided tours and talks across the globe, AWA strives for new ways to spread its message.


Excitement builds as our partnerships with the Uffizi Cover photo: Kirsten Hills

Galleries and Il Palmerino change and grow. Seven figures in Nelli's Last Supper now have 'adoptive parents' (six to go!) and preparations are well underway for AWA's October Sojourn. Join us‌ join us, in all ways! Your support and your passion is paramount. Thank you, as always, for your role in conserving and promoting art by history's forgotten half.

Jane Fortune Founder & Chair, AWA

Inside AWA Magazine Editors: Linda Falcone, Fiona Richards Copy editor: Margaret MacKinnon Photographers: C. Beatty, F. Cacchiani, C. Cheade, S. Domingie, K. Gowlett, K. Hills, K. Morikawa, L. Jmaeff, O. Sartor, J. Adams, A. Korey, Il Palmerino Archives, D. Castagnetti, Medici Dynasty Show Archives, M. Richmond, Laboratorio fotografico Vieusseux, G. Missirilis, G. Migliore. Design: FPE Media Ltd Follow us: T: @AWA_Foundation F: W: Advancing Women Artists Foundation Via dei Fossi 1 Florence, 50123

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Contents 30



The Sage Princess

Florence unforgettable

Who will be lucky?


Women who drew

25 Half way there Trailblazers together

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A space of their own


54 From manuscripts to social media


Lea Colliva

An honour awaits for Nelli's Crucifixion

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Gap & gallery


Spring 2018

Legacy, Memory, Message

Why we speak

Artemisia all around


Welcome home


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21st Century art

Who holds the keys to invisible art?

Five ďŹ gures in need of adoption

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Nelli's numbers

Changin' times


Art of healing

Palazzio Vecchio's new Nelli 5

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“A legacy, a memory, a messa e…” There are a million ways to spread our message… and the drive for awareness about art by women and its restoration can take on many guises. Here are two of AWA’s latest efforts in Florence to share the city’s legacy.

Anna Maria Luisa dei’ Medici and her husband Johann Wilhelm II displayed in Pitti’s wing not open to the public

An unconventional Valentine?


WA aficionados have been asking for ages for the opportunity to see art by women in Florence, both ‘visible’ and ‘invisible’. Why not, we thought, celebrate February 14 with a gesture of love... for art!

iew of ffirelli ocated ence’s house.


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Finding Invisible Women in Pitti’s Sala delle Allegorie... namely, Madonna and Child by Artemisia Gentileschi, a theme she seldom painted

The Pitti shows how women inspired the Renaissance imagination. They were depicted as agents of the Fates, beacons of faith and even promoters of fashion. Women artists were celebrated at that time! A smallscale but worthy advocacy event took us into Palazzo Pitti, for the ‘Invisible Women’ tour based on Jane Fortune’s book and designed by AWA with Freya’s Florence. Lavinia Fontana, Artemisia Gentileschi, Giovanna Garzoni, Angelica Kauffman... so many women have made history in Florence thanks to their painterly talents.

The unsung heros of Pitti, are the palace guards, like Stefano Viviani pictured here, as he leads us into the Volteranno Corridor, normally closed to the public

In this palatial venue, embued with the grace of grand duchesses who made the city great (Eleonora de Toledo, Vittoria della Rovere, Anna Maria Luisa de’ Medici), we had the chance to experience art by women in Florence first hand.

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An inside view of the Franco Zeffirelli Foundation, located in central Florence's former courthouse

World Speech Day


orld Speech Day is held annually in over 90 countries and its theme for 2018 struck a chord with all those who are committed to protecting art for posterity: Thoughts for a Better World. This year, Florence’s newly inaugurated Franco Zeffirelli Foundation hosted the international event, in partnership with the Tuscan Region. The evening, celebrated against a backdrop of the filmmaker’s life achievements, brought together renowned Florentine chefs whose ‘Italianesque’ ideas were focused on how food influences culture. AWA was invited to discuss how Nelli portrayed food in her monumental Last Supper and how art historians today consider her depiction of Christ’s last meal to be indicative of her viewpoint as a female painter. “Speaking at the Zeffirelli Foundation was quite moving,” said AWA Director Linda Falcone, “Together with Jane Fortune, I met the director of Romeo and Juliet and Tea with Mussolini in 2014 during the filming for our PBS documentary When the World Answered. His interview that day became fundamental to our story. Talking about the Last Supper in a palazzo-museum that commemorates the maker of Jesus of Nazareth, was an honor I treasure.”


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Jane and Bob together with Franco Zeffirelli

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AWA ‘saves’ the Sage Princess Palazzo Vecchio welcomes restored painting of its illustrious mistress


he last Medici heir, Grand Duchess Anna Maria Luisa de’ Medici is known by Florentines today as ‘The Sage Princess’. Because she is single-handedly responsible for safeguarding Florence’s treasures for posterity, it is AWA’s honor to have her portrait among our restored paintings. A quote by Jane Fortune sums up our founder’s decision to personally sponsor the restoration of this portrait although its authorship is unknown: “Anna Maria Luisa de’ Medici has been at the forefront of my thoughts since February 2017 when a distant, modern-day branch of the Medici clan gifted her portrait, commissioned in 1745, to Florence’s Palazzo Vecchio. INSIDE AWA · Spring 2018 

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Images: Documentation and research is a fundamental part of AWA's mission. The Palazzo Vecchio painting is being compared to its twin at the Ente Cassa di Risparmio.

Because of my work with Advancing Women Artists, I was approached by Palazzo Vecchio’s curator who wondered if I’d like to personally sponsor a project that would restore the painting to its original dignity for Palazzo Vecchio’s Reception Room, where the Mayor welcomes diplomats from all over the world. 10

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Michelangelo and Pontormo. Leonardo. Donatello. Botticelli. None of their works would be in Florence today, if it were not for Anna Maria Luisa, the last of the Medici heirs.

The heirless princess devised a ‘Family Pact’ making it unlawful to sell or remove any Medici property from Tuscany. Thus, it is thanks to Anna Maria Luisa that the city’s art was not sold off piece by piece to support the indebted Austrians. It is purely to her credit that Florence has become the tourist destination it is today.” INSIDE AWA · Spring 2018 

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Florence mayor Dario Nardella with Anna Maria Luisa de' Medici and restorer Rossella Lari


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Evocative Florence blanketed in white

Artemisia all around AWA welcomes Mrs. Judie Eisenberg


winter storm straight from Siberia took hold of Florence this February, cloaking the city in a rarely-seen layer of snow. Though the city’s schools and museums were closed due to the unusual weather, AWA enjoyed a day of ‘winter magic’ as the Florence hosts of Mrs. Judie Eisenberg, whose husband Lewis M. Eisenberg is US Ambassador to Italy. By request of the US Consulate in Florence, AWA was invited to present its restored art at the Pitti Palace and introduce our ‘first lady’ from Rome to paintings by women throughout the Palatine Gallery. Artemisia Gentileschi’s suspenseful Judith and her Maidservant – our guest’s namesake by fortuitous coincidence – was our first stop.


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For AWA’s Memory Box: Gallery curator Alessandra Griffo, Italy’s US ‘first lady’ Judy Eisenberg and AWA Director Linda Falcone with Artemisia’s restored masterwork

Artemisia’s self portrait, loaned to the Royal Academy’s show: Charles I: King and Collector

Mrs. Eisenberg’s Florence reflections

The visit to the Pitti Palace’s Palatine Gallery was meaningful to me on so many different levels. I enjoyed seeing my namesake depicted in such a powerful position in Judith and her Maidservant, and I was profoundly moved while gazing upon Artemisia Gentileschi’s David and Bathsheba. It was the first time since my arrival in Italy in October 2017 that I had heard of Artemisia, or any other female Italian painter from that period. With artistic tourism so focused on the revolutionary work of Michelangelo, Da Vinci, Bernini, Caravaggio, and so on, I think it’s wonderful that the Pitti and other museums are raising awareness of the extraordinary things Gentileschi and our other artistic foremothers were doing hundreds of years ago.

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In Italy, Women’s Day is celebrated on March 8. In the United States, we take the month of March as Women’s History Month to recognize the contributions that women have made to our nation in all spheres. My visit to Florence took place on March 1, and I feel it really set the tone for the month of March for me. I am very happy to know that AWA in particular is working to tell women artists’ remarkable stories and to keep them alive so that we may educate future generations. I want all of my grandchildren – girls and boys alike – to learn about these important achievements, and I look forward to bringing them to Florence next time they are in Italy.


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magine gaining access to the gallery via the back staircase of the closed Pitti Palace, and walking through its hallowed but deserted halls, accompanied by museum curator Alessandra Griffo… a highlight for the year! Seeing our beloved David and Bathsheba still in storage… always pulls at the heartstrings. After Artemisia’s recent all-out Rome show and her self-portrait’s inclusion in the Charles I exhibition at London’s Royal Academy, we hope the time will soon come for permanent display of this precious piece, restored by AWA in 2009. A spectacular but ‘unframed’ work of art finished off the morning: The snow-clad Boboli Gardens visible from the Palatine’s monumental windows!

Gentileschi’s Judith and her Maidservant (Notice the head of enemy-general Holofernes in the Jewish heroine’s basket!)

Interior of the glorious Pitti Palace with Artemisia painting (opposite)


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T he gap... and the Gallery The Uffizi Galleries team up with AWA and WikiDonne for annual editing marathon


or the second year in a row, AWA teams up with the Uffizi Galleries and WikiDonne for an editing marathon to bridge Wikipedia’s gender gap. Our goal? To increase the number of articles on women artists found in the world’s largest on-line encyclopedia or to enrich the content of pre-existing entries. AWA has been committed to organizing Wiki-edithons since 2014 and this year represents our fifth Florence-based event. Uffizi staffers, including museum guards and internal art historians, coupled with AWA facilitators and national Wiki technicians joined forces to craft, edit and upload entries in ‘real time’ in English, Italian and German. The ‘ladies of the hour’ were the over seventy women artists whose paintings are present in the Uffizi self-portrait collection, started by Cardinal Leopoldo de’ Medici, who sought works of female painters for his collection on the commonly-held premise that they were ‘marvels of nature’.

Uffizi staffers, AWA facilitators and the WikiDonna tech crew together at the Edithon

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A ‘panoramic shot’ of our high Wiki hopes to generate content in ‘real time’

Part of a worldwide initiative known as ‘Art and Feminism’ which involves staging Wiki events in monumental libraries, universities and museums throughout the world, our Florence event took place at the Uffizi Library, an eighteenth-century hall located in the Uffizi proper that houses historic manuscripts and art history volumes and catalogs essential to understanding the assets of one of the world’s most well-loved galleries. 15

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Florence mayor and vice mayor meet 'Nelli' A highlight for 2017 Florence mayor and vice mayor see Nelli up close and personal at the restoration studio


he city's 'ďŹ rst citizen' Dario Nardella and his right-hand woman, Vice Mayor Cristina Giachi visited the restoration lab work at Porta Romana recently, to enjoy the progress of our Nelli Last Supper restoration. A happy morning was dedicated to conservation and Plautilla's amazing inpaint feat, with explanations from expert Nelli restorer Rossella Lari, with AWA Partnership Relations Jane Adams and Director Linda Falcone. The Mayor has plans for the Last Supper to be part of his 'Grandi Musei' project at the soon-to-be renovated Museum of Santa Maria Novella. 16

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Left to right: Cristina Giachi, Rossella Lari, Dario Nardella, Linda Falcone, Jane Adams

Discussions in the studio

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Half way there

Six of Nelli’s Apostles have found homes… in the hearts of our top donors. Here’s a glimpse at the ‘parents’ of Plautilla’s painterly saints and those they’d like to honor through the Adopt an Apostle program. Their $10,000-gifts have made it possible to start Phase II of our foremost restoration...we hope you’ll join them!

Cay Fortune

Who started this ‘saintly’ journey?


eet the AWA Board Member responsible for birthing one of our all-time best ideas. Cay Fortune’s admiration for the arts has been life long, and she expresses that love primarily by serving as a member of AWA’s Board of Directors. Her latest endeavor with our organization is to champion the ‘Adopt an Apostle’ program, of which she is conceptcreator and the first adoptee! Saint John the Evangelist is Cay’s protégé; “I would like others to follow my lead and share this privilege with me,” Cay explained, “My ‘adoption’ in honor of my cousin Jane Fortune, as a tribute to her work.” Cay is founder of the Fortune Family Foundation (FFF), a grant-making private foundation serving the Pacific Northwest. Cay’s goals as a philanthropist have been to support organizations focused on helping women and children by making those organizations more selfsufficient financially. Believing it is better to teach a man to fish than to give a man a fish, FFF has used its grants to teach fundraising skills to staff and volunteer board members for two decades, and to underwrite the costs of major-objective fundraising campaigns.

Cay Fortune and John Shimer

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Alice and her family during their magic Florence year

Alice Vogler

'Friendship and the love of art'


WA Board member Alice Vogler lived in Florence during her husband David's sabbatical year in 1998-9. With their son Bill, they spent each Saturday viewing a different Last Supper (they are pictured together above). When Alice met Jane Fortune and Bob Hesse and embraced their mission to restore art by women, she was surprised to learn that a Last Supper by a woman artist had escaped her family's wanderings! How appropriate then, for Alice to adopt an apostle, especially one that had been out of public view during their art search. She is dedicating her gift to the memory of Lynne Wisneski, who taught her so much about friendship and the love of art, particularly during their museumfilled time together in Florence that same year. Both David and Lynne have since succumbed to cancer. In making her gift, Alice has chosen St. James the Elder because that was her husband's middle name.


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Jane Adams

‘A chemist and a spiritual home’


ane Adams, who has managed AWA Partnership Relations since autumn 2015, has chosen Saint Bartholomew to honor Josephine O'Brien, her grandmother. 'She was a chemist,' Jane explains, 'and I think she would have been interested in how Nelli, a self-taught artist, learned how to mix pigments for paint. When Josephine's husband, a Royal Airforce pilot during World War II, was killed, my mother and aunt were educated by nuns at a convent, through a RAF grant. Josephine would have liked the idea of Nelli's convent as a center for female creativity. Nelli must have taken special care with Bartholomew, as a tribute Fra' Bartolomeo, whose 500 drawings she inherited. There are unsung heroes every day in my work – museum guards that no one notices, archivists, restorers… not to mention the women artists themselves. This unsung saint is for them as well. And when Nelli is exhibited in the Santa Maria Novella Museum, my children, Josephine and Giovanni, who were born and grew up in Tuscany but are now studying in England will have a spiritual place to come home to: Nelli's art!'

Jane Fortune

'The Saint under the signature'


lthough Renaissance masters did not generally sign their works, Nelli does even more than that. She accompanied her signature with a call to action: 'Orate pro pictora', pray for the 'pictora' – paintress. Jane Fortune chose the 'saint under the signature' because she has always taken Nelli's appeal very literally. "We need to 'pray for the paintress', so that modern-day art lovers may participate in the strength of her creative legacy, and be moved to safeguard her art,' Jane explains. "Since discovering Nelli, my commitment has been to become her voice, 430 years later – a voice she never had." Jane's adopted 'saint' is to honor her partner Bob Hesse (1931–2016), the love of her life and co-founder of Advancing Women Artists. The whole of Florence is indebted to Bob for his key role in supporting the rediscovery of Tuscan art by women. Further study will hopefully prove if Saint Matthew is indeed ‘the Saint under the signature’ but Jane, has chosen him (in name) because he was the first man to present a written account Christ’s teachings. For Jane, documentation is key! A heart-warming coincidence: St. Matthew’s feast day is September 21, Bob’s birthday.


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Margaret MacKinnon and Wayne McArdle 'Creating a link between past and present'

Bill Fortune and Joe Blakley ‘A few kind words’


ill Fortune and Joe Blakley (pictured below) decided to adopt Saint Peter as a gesture of support for AWA to celebrate the passion and commitment our mission entails. Their admiration for our quest goes back to the days when the foundation was nothing but a glimmer in our founder’s eye. Bill’s last name is a give-away; he is Jane Fortune’s brother. Both Bill and Joe are lovers of beauty and high design no matter the era. They are also fans of sublime food in small quantities and peaceable after-dinner conversations that last until late. Good down-home human stories are their daily bread. As avid art collectors, their fondness for Italy is the result of multiple trips up and down ‘the Boot’. Not prone to loving the limelight, their ideal character description is best summed up with ‘a few kind, constructive words’ and ‘less is more’.


WA's International Advisory Council member Margaret MacKinnon felt that Saint Judas Thaddeus from Nelli's Last Supper would be the perfect retirement gift to honor her stepmother-inlaw, Beverley McLachlin, former Chief Justice of Canada's Supreme Court. Margaret and her husband Wayne McArdle (pictured above) are Canadians who have made their home in London for almost 30 years. Florence is now home as well! Margaret loves exploring its lesser travelled 'back streets' and making small discoveries to share with visiting friends. She continues to be optimistic that she will one day master the beautiful Italian language. Wayne, a partner at the law firm Gibson Dunn, is an enthusiastic cyclist. Together, they have completed tours of Tuscany, Piedmont and Puglia, with Sardinia next on the list. Cycling throughout Italy also allows Wayne to indulge his passion for wine. A chance meeting with Board member Alice Vogler led to their involvement with AWA. They are enjoying getting to know historic women artists and also the community of restorers, researchers and art lovers who make their rediscovery possible.

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Donna playing ‘art detective’ in a storage closet at the Il Fuligno complex. She is seeking similarities between Lorenzo di Bicci’s ‘labelled saints’ and Nelli’s Last Supper

Making Nelli’s Christ like ‘new’ Donna Malin ‘adopts’ the figure of Jesus


onna Malin fell in love with Florence during her first visit nearly 40 years ago and it is her dream to make Florence her ‘second home.’ She feels that it is a privilege to be part of the AWA International Advisory Council, as the mission of AWA combines her love of Florence and art with supporting women. During our studio visit to see Nelli’s precious painting, she chose to ‘adopt’ the figure of Jesus Christ as she felt such a strong bond with him. Donna gifted $25,000 to restore the figure of Christ, the heart of the masterpiece in all ways! Her adoption is made in honor of her grandparents John and Sophie Lalas.

the decorative border of his collar and cuffs are an example, as is the attention given to his eyelashes (not generally a feature for men in art during Renaissance times!). With the restoration, each detail of the painting will be more clearly visible. Thank you, Donna Malin for giving Nelli’s Christ its original dignity!

The scaffolding Rossella needs to work on the Christ

New restoration research reveals that Nelli was the kind of artist who defied all social convention and she emulated Leonardo by tackling the life-size male figure (probably studying anatomy from the corpses of deceased nuns). Nelli’s Christ emphasizes the painter’s love for realism. Although the work was meant to be seen from dizzying heights, she takes special care on refining the figure; 20

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n early 2017, Donna Malin retired from Johnson & Johnson after a distinguished legal career spanning three decades. During her career, she not only demonstrated legal excellence but dedicated herself to mentoring others and fostering the professional and personal development of women. Helping others has always inspired Donna and enriched her life. She has a deep commitment to community service, particularly working with the homeless in NYC.

Donna Malin ‘above Florence’ at San Miniato al Monte

Donna is currently the Vice Chair of Women in Need, Inc. (WIN), a not-for-profit organization which helps homeless women and children in NYC rebuild their lives and break the cycle of homelessness. In Donna's spare time, she travels extensively including a recent safari in South Africa. She loves to learn about new cultures! She also spends time with her adorable 3-year-old nephew as well as savoring all that NYC has to offer. "I've chosen to honor my grandparents with my participation in the Adopt an Apostle Program. They immigrated to the United States from Lithuania and worked hard in modest jobs to build a good life for their family. As a little girl, they gave me unconditional love. My grandfather built furniture for my dolls and my grandmother always had good snacks for my brother and me! I learned many life lessons from them. John and Sophie Lalas are forever in my heart."

A reminder of what the painting looked like during stucco work

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F ive figures still need sponsors Questions surround the Saints in Nelli’s Last Supper because their names have not yet been identified with certainty. But the most pressing question is this: Which Saint strikes a chord with YOU?


James the Lesser, also known as James the Younger or James the Just, is referred to as ‘the brother of the Jesus’ (he was a cousin). One of the first to have visions of the Risen Christ, he became Bishop of Jerusalem, and met with Saint Paul to plan evangelization. James the Just is patron of the dying. He is also the patron of fullers and pharmacists. According to tradition, soon after the Crucifixion, James said he would fast until Christ returned; the resurrected Master appeared to him and prepared a meal for the Apostle.


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Patron of hatters, milliners and pastry chefs, Saint Philip is protector of Luxembourg, Uruguay and Croatia. The symbol of Philip is a basket, because of his part in feeding of the five thousand (the ‘Loaves and Fishes’ story). It is he that wanted the cross as a sign of Christianity and victory. He is also mentioned in John as a man gifted for asking questions everyone else was afraid to ask.


Patron saint of fishermen and singers, he is also the protector of several countries and cities including: Scotland, Romania, Russia, Ukraine and Patras. Andrew preached the Gospel around the shores of the Black Sea and throughout what is now Greece and Turkey and other parts of Asia Minor. Andrew was brother to Peter and he was originally a disciple of John the Baptist.


Saint Simon is called 'the Zealot.' Some scholars believe he was initially a member of the Zealots, an extreme branch of Jewish nationalism. Others believe he was Simon the Leper, cured by Christ. Saint Simon is thought to have preached the Gospel in Egypt and Mesopotamia and to have then joined the apostle St. Judas (Thaddaeus) in Persia. He is the patron of woodcutters, curriers, sawyers and tanners.


He is the patron of architects, construction workers, masons, stonecutters, surveyors and geometricians. He is also a patron of the blind. Saint Thomas is protector of India, Pakistan and Sri Lanka. He is also the saint of theologians and he is recognized for helping the faithful overcome doubt. Marco Polo is said to have visited Thomas’ tomb in Southern India in 1292. Thomas is one of the few Apostles that have been identified in Nelli’s Last Supper. His finger is raised as if to present a ‘logical explanation’. INSIDE AWA · Spring 201823

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How the Art Defense Fund was born ‘Who will want to adopt Judas Iscariot?’ by IAC member Margaret MacKinnon


ast November, my husband Wayne and I decided to adopt Saint Judas Thaddeus from Plautilla Nelli’s Last Supper in honour of his stepmother, Beverley McLachlin, who was then just about to retire as Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of Canada. While doing research on Saint Jude, we learned that he became the saint of lost causes because, it seemed, people only prayed to him when they were desperate - they tended to avoid seeking him out for fear that their prayers might inadvertently be directed to the Other Judas - Judas Iscariot, who had no saintly power to help them.

This, in turn, made us wonder ‘who will want to adopt Judas Iscariot?’ Will Nelli’s Last Supper be left with one homeless Apostle after the other eleven have been spoken for? We held a reception in London this past February for Chief Justice McLachlin which was attended by many of her U.K. colleagues including eminent judges, lawyers and legal scholars. In his tribute to the Chief Justice, Wayne noted that the Other Judas - the one generally depicted in Last Suppers sitting on the wrong side of the table, without a halo - had not yet been adopted. Addressing the

assembled guests he stated, “I have before me a room full of distinguished advocates. Could there be a better place to find someone to take on the case of an admittedly unpopular defendant?” This was the moment that led to the idea of creating the Art Defense Fund. Unlikely to find an individual adopter, we feel that Judas needs the collective effort of the best legal minds to champion his cause and to make the case that his role in the story of the Last Supper and his central place in Nelli’s painting deserve to be supported.

We are seeking 10 participants to gift $1000 each toward the restoration of Judas. For details please write to Margaret MacKinnon at: or Linda Falcone at: 24

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How does the figure of Judas help tell us more about who Nelli was?


elli's Last Supper captures Holy Thursday on canvas, at the very moment when Christ says to his Disciples, "He that dippeth his hand with me in the dish, the same shall betray me" (Matthew 23:26). Nelli restorer Rossella Lari has come to several conclusions about Nelli's character by studying the Last Supper's figures:

I believe Nelli's Christ to be a very maternal and earthly one. I see this in the affection with which he embraces Saint John and in the fact that he does not retract his hand from that of Judas - they are almost touching. I think the fact that Nelli was a woman gave her a special take on this scene. This is the first example in history in which Judas' bag of 30 silver coins is decorated with embroidery! It reminds us that sixteenth-century nuns were renowned throughout Italy for their lucrative needlework.

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Numbers for Nelli's Last Supper TOTAL TIME IN THE RESTORATION STUDIO: 4 years MUSEUM DEBUT: October 2019 TOTAL PROJECT COST: US$ 210,000

$66,810 Raised in 2017 via TheFirstLast campaign,

thanks to on-line contributions by 409 donors in 19 countries, whose names have been recorded for posterity in our Donors' Album, to be deposited at the Santa Maria Novella Dominican Library Collection.

$85,000 Raised thus far via The Adopt an Apostle Campaign, thanks to donors recognized on pages 17 to 19 of this edition of Inside AWA.

$60,000 FUNDS LEFT TO RAISE via The Adopt an Apostle Campaign and Art Defense Fund


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Adopt an Apostle project

RESTORATION – US$ 89,000 Transport, in-studio and travel insurance, diagnostics with infra-red testing, cleaning, color consolidation, stucco work, biocide anti-parasite treatment, canvas restoration, pictorial restoration, varnishing, materials, remounting.


Four years of full-phase photography and video campaign, documenting each phase of the restoration. Two documentary shorts mid-phase and at the finish.

PRODUCTION OF FOR-TELEVISION DOCUMENTARY – US$ 40,000 Production of a half-an-hour television special, intended for release on US and British broadcasting platforms including, production, direction, montage, post-production, editing, translation, subtitling, graphic project, travel expenses, technicians, insurance for museum filming, and placement.

INAUGURAL UNVEILING EVENTS – US$ 15,000 Filming and photography at Inaugural and high mass. Tech support. High mass donation. Event tech-support. Preferential rental fees for museum hall. Rental sound and visual equipment. Inaugural cocktail 200 guests. Additional museum personnel costs. Cleaning services, Insurance. Translation services. Honorarium for performance Musicians / Singers.

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PRESS/COMMUNICATION CAMPAIGN AND CULTURAL OUTREACH – US$ 11,000 Press conference, tech support, video including 3-minute trailer for web sharing, photography and equipment rental; traditional international press campaign, graphics and promotional materials web/ paper/pen-drive copies (invitations, press packet), translation services. Minimum one cultural lecture at monumental and cultural venue and guided tour.

RECOGNITION, MUSEUM SIGNAGE AND SERIOGRAPH – US$ 9,000 Museum signage. Hard-bound Donors Album. Donor perks. Serigraph of Last Supper for Dominican Religious Community (which) 'lost' Nelli's Last Supper when it was removed from their monastery in 2015).

NEW RESEARCH CONFERENCE – US$ 6,000 Preferential venue rates, tech support and equipment rental, video and photography including 4-minute trailer post-conference for web release, special museum personnel costs. Simple catered coffee break and cleaning services, Insurance, translation services.

PUBLICATION OF NEW RESEARCH – US$ 20,000 Honorarium for researchers, graphics and publication of full-color quality paperback volume on new Last Supper research with app to video on back cover.


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Trailblazers together London festivities for two ‘first’ ladies


anada’s first female chief Supreme Court Justice, Beverley McLachlin acknowledged that “everyone needs a patron saint of lost causes” for the times when it seems that hope is running out, and revealed that she was “amazed and delighted” with the adoption of Saint Jude in her name by her step-son Wayne McArdle and his wife IA Council member Margaret MacKinnon. “I am honoured to now be a small part of Nelli’s Last Supper restoration project,’ says McLachlin. “It is really gratifying to be


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Above: Chief Justice Beverley McLachlin Left: Wayne McArdle and Margaret MacKinnon Top row: Wayne and Margaret with the Chief Jutice; A celebratory toast Middle row: Author Sarah Dunant; AWA ladies with the Chief Justice Bottom row: The McArdle family with Peter McGovern, former Canadian Ambassador to Italy, and his wife Sharon; Chief Justice McLachlin with Lord Falconer

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associated with this rediscovery of women artists from another era.” AWA travelled to London to present this unique retirement gift and symbolically bring Nelli’s ‘presence’ to England. “We are delighted to be making a connection between a pioneering Renaissance artist and a very modern judicial leader and trailblazer,”

Margaret explains. “Beverley has championed the rights of Canada’s Indigenous people and stressed the importance of transparency and access to justice. Her over 400 judgements have touched every area of Canadian law. Though these two women worked in different fields but both have forged a lasting legacy. Both were ‘firsts’!”

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Florence Unforgettable AWA’s Sojourn 2018


WA’s signature event is a six-day fall Sojourn in mid-October 2018. Many people come to Florence but very few have access to the heart of it. We hope you will join us for ‘Florence Unforgettable’! For complete details, please visit the ‘Travel with us’ section on our website: Here is a sampling of events that are part of our October itinerary.

‘Invisible women’ at the Pitti

Movies and il Maestro

Where wine is art - Castello Di Ama

Medici rivals are modern-day friends

The Medici supported female court artists, including Baroque master Artemisa Gentileschi. Access to a normally-closed wing of the palace helps us see why Florence has been a center of art by women for centuries. A 15th-century hamlet turned contemporary art venue in Lecchi in Chianti. Husband-andwife vineyard owners Marco and Lorenza have been creating extraordinary wine and commissioning art for two decades.


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Florentine Franco Zeffirelli was the creator of cinematographic masterpieces like Romeo and Juliet and Jesus of Nazareth. A private tour of the Zeffirelli Foundation with his son Pippo is a glimpse at movie-making magic. Dinner at the fifteenth-century Gondi Palace, where Leonardo likely painted his Mona Lisa. Our hosts are the Gondi Marquis, once rivals to the Medici clan, steps from Palazzo Vecchio.

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Where art goes to ‘get well’

Plautilla Nelli’s Last Supper at last

Why not taste what you can’t pronounce?

Here at Harry’s

L’Opificio is a fortress-laboratory where a team of ‘painting doctors’ works to rescue much-loved canvases, panels and frescos. Meet masterpieces up-close, stripped of their museum formality. I Fagioli is an all-time favorite family restaurant in the Santa Croce District. Ribollita, black cabbage, daunting T-bone steaks, fresh porcini bruschetta steeped in new oil and herbs. Seasonal temptation for every palate.

An ‘official’ luncheon tradition

The American Consul General Benjamin V. Wohlauer will host a private luncheon for Sojourners and women museum directors at the US Consulate in Florence, in the 19th-century Palazzo Calcagnini’s magnificent ballroom.

A visit to Rossella Lari’s restoration atelier to see the in-progress restoration of the largest work by an early women artist in the world is our biggest gift to Sojourners in 2018 literally! A light supper upstairs at Harry’s Bar. Since 1952, this riverside haunt has delighted guests from around the world. Sophisticated but comfortable, it has been the favorite spot for actors, politicians, writers and AWA sojourners.

An honor, an inaugural

Sojourners will be honored as patrons at the unveiling of Plautilla Nelli’s Crucifixion, supported by Sojourn 2018. Prior to the festivities, museum curator Cristina Gnoni will take us into the Museum attic to see ‘invisible’ art.

A toast over the Arno

Opificio delle pietre dure restoration lab

Seasonal temptation for every palate

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Castella d’Ama Winery


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Sojourners are welcomed by AWA’s network of friends including founders of modern-day artisanal companies and cultural centers who uphold Tuscany’s age-old traditions food, wine, craftsmanship, the performing and visual arts

Toasting at the Antinori table

Sojourners are dinner guests at the Palazzo Antinori, the family’s in-town home since 1506. Their company boasts a 600-yearold tradition, and is headed by Marquis Piero Antinori’s daughters: Albiera, Allegra and Alessia.

‘The secrets of Invisible’

Hands-on perfume-making workshop at Florence’s exclusive perfumery AquaFlor, which upholds Florence’s Reniassance traditions. Each workshop participant will create their own ‘version’ of AWA’s perfume Invisible.

At home at Villa il Palemerino Inset: Salads with Pecorino cheese, the key to good cooking

Mamma’s hearty fare in the Oltrarno

Chef Francesco Brogi was rigorously trained by his mother Giovanna, known to locals as ‘Mamma’. ‘Pandemonio’ means ‘lively chaos’ but lunch at the Brogi family’s trattoria in the artisans’ district means wellhidden local comfort.

If Florence were a palace

There is nothing like being led through secret palace rooms, by the woman who curates the city’s beloved Palazzo Vecchio. Meet the grandeur of the Medici Grand Dukes and the forces that built the Florentine republic.

Who should we thank for Florence?

A scene from the Medici Dynasty Show


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The Medici Dynasty Show spans 300 years of Medici grandeur. At a postperformance dinner at Lorenzo il Magnifico’s Fuligno Complex with cast and creators, we’ll meet some Florence’s most creative performance artists. INSIDE AWA · Spring 2018

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La Petraia was the king’s favorite resdence

‘The stones of Florence’

The semi-precious stones laboratory was founded by Grand Duke Ferdinando I in 1588 to satisfy the court’s demand for mosaics and inlays. Also a working conservation lab for gold, bronze and mosaics.

Art Defender

The title says it all! Some art is too precious to be restored anywhere but in a vault! Another intriguing look at what it truly takes to protect Florence’s artwork, from inside Tuscany’s ‘Art Safe’.

The King and I

We will dine in Villa La Petraia’s indoor courtyard, called ‘Italy’s ballroom’, when King Vittorio Emanuele transformed his favorite palace space into a ‘dancefloor’ during Florence’s stint as the capital of Italy in the 1860s. INSIDE AWA · Spring 2018

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Italy’s ballroom, Villa la Petraia

Would you like to join us? Sunday, October 14 to Friday 19, 2018 6,000 US$ per person. This fee includes a 1,000-dollar tax-deductible contribution to Advancing Women Artists, in support of the restoration of Nelli’s Crucifixion. For more information, please write to:


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An honor awaits

Sojourners to be recognized at The Crucifixion’s museum debut

Here are a few snaps featuring 'our' panel in the studio one of Florence's foremost wood-working conservators Roberto Buda


uring AWA sojourns, our guests become honored art patrons who are welcomed to a side of Florence you cannot access in any other way. Sojourners will be in town for the inaugural cocktail and unveiling of Plautilla Nelli’s Crucifixion at the Last Supper Museum of Andrea del Sarto. This evocative museum, in what was once a Valambrosian monastery, brings together much of Florence’s sixteenth-century art. As always, Sojourn proceeds support the conservation of art by women and in 2018, Nelli’s lunette from the 1570s will be our precious beneficiary*.

This large-scale Crucifixion is an example of an extraordinary Florentine trend: women commissioning paintings to other women. Arcangela Viola, prioress of Nelli’s convent of Santa Caterina, asked the artist to craft a three-piece series whose style and themes would reflect her spiritual visions. (Many early educated women had ‘visions’ as mysticism was one area in which women could freely express their views.) The Crucifixion is the central lunette and upon restoration it will be displayed between Nelli’s two other works restored by AWA in 2009: Saint Catherine in Prayer and Saint Domenic Receives the Rosary.

* Estimated Sojourn proceeds will not cover the entire cost of the project. Gifts toward the painting are possible even for those not travelling with AWA in October.


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Above: A historic photo of the 2009 unveiling to whet your appetite!

A REVIEW OF THE BUDGET ESTIMATED PROJECT COST: US$ 52,000* Here's a budget overview detailing all we'll do to safeguard and rediscover Nelli's Crucifixion. By restoring Nelli's painting, we'll make a lasting contribution to Florence and the world art scene. This is why our projects include documentation, outreach campaigns for the art-loving public, advocacy, research, exhibition and high-profile events for officials, sponsors and the press. Here's a budget estimate showing what it will take to support this project:

DOCUMENTATION AND RESEARCH – US$8,000 Honorarium for researchers, full-phase photography campaign, documentary-short and video, restoration trailer.




PRESS AND COMMUNICATION – US$ 6,000 Press conference and traditional international press campaign, graphic promotional materials, social media and web communication. Translation services.


Transport, in-studio insurance, diagnostics with infra-red testing, cleaning, color consolidation, stucco work, biocide anti-parasite treatment, wood-support restoration, pictorial restoration, varnishing, materials.

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Disassembly and remounting, cleaning, stucco work, pictorial restoration of missing flakes, transport, insurance, museum signage. Event tech support (2 people). Honorarium performers, rental sound and visual equipment, inaugural cocktail, cleaning services, additional museum personnel costs, insurance, translation services.

Minimum two outreach events: Lecture at cultural venue and guided tour, event tech support.


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“ Welcome Home” AWA’s Board and Council meet in Florence


n annual highlight. AWA celebrated its Board and International Advisory Council meeting in Florence from October 12 to 14, 2017. Several of our top members visited the Renaissance capital from far afield, coming from New York, Chicago, Alabama, Indiana, Canada and Austria. AWA has become a worldwide phenomenon! Three days full of insights was epitomized by our trip to the storehouses of San Salvi, also known as the Last Supper Museum of Andrea del Sarto. One of Florence’s most important deposits,


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t Our nex e Florenc ? meeting October 2018


especially for devotional works from the 1500s, it is an incredible example of how ancient palaces and former monasteries in Florence adapt their attics and cellars to respond to their twenty-first century vocation: being museums! The feeling about Florence was mutual: our Board and Council members shared a feeling of home-coming as AWA’s in-town friends made every effort to welcome the foundation’s patrons. An example of Florentine hospitality: a terrace cocktail on the Arno at Fratelli Piccini, one of Ponte Vecchio’s foremost jewelers. With the INSIDE AWA · Spring 2018 

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Vasari Corridor an arms-length away and the Uffizi just across the river, we reminisced about past projects and planned for future partnerships. Between meetings, we packed in several restoration and museum visits including a traipse through the little-known Innocenti Museum, led by AWA Advocate and restorer Elizabeth Wicks. The meeting proper was held at Palazzo Alberti, headquarters of the Medici Archive Project, which also hosts our sister organization, The Jane Fortune Research Program on Women Artists at MAP.


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An ‘Invisible’ Act to follow

'Potion-making’ at Aquaflor

International Advisory Council member Connie Clark experiments with another 'invisible' potion.


ur Board and IA Council enjoyed hands-on craftsmanship during an exclusive perfumemaking workshop at Florence’s famed artisanal perfumery Aquaflor. One of AWA's most original Donor Perks is Invisible, the fragrance Jane Fortune and AWA created under the watchful 'nose' of maître perfumer Sileno Cheloni. Designed as an evocative tribute to women artists of the past, it has sparked the interest of the world's top fashion and style magazines, receiving write-ups in iconic publications like Vanity Fair and Vogue. "There are many ways to spread our message," says our founder who personally funded the perfume's production. By fortuitous coincidence, AWA's ladies were in town just as Invisible entered its final stages of production. The day was twofold: after we watched our fermented 'signature' fragrance officially 'bottled', we each made our own 'version' of Invisible. Like the artists it represents, our perfume has become multi-faceted! 38

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MAKING INVISIBLE… As many of you know, AWA’s perfume Invisible was made by AquaFlor, established in Florence in 2009 by the visionary maître perfumer Sileno Cheloni. AquaFlor embodies the art of the traditional artistic Florentine fragrances, combining creativity and the refined character of the modern French perfumery. AWA and AquaFlor have banded together to create an evocative tribute to women artists of the past.

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A Space of their Own Toward a Virtual Museum of Women Artists


pearheaded by Professor Heidi Gealt and Dr. Jane Fortune, A Space of their Own, began as a pilot project in 2017 and is rapidly growing. It now brings together Indiana University’s Eskenazi Museum of Art and AWA to build the largest and most comprehensive database and website through which findings on historic women artists can be accessed. By including online publication opportunities with an editorial board which credits the work of scholars, the program will also foster new research on many forgotten women artists, from the 1500s to the 1800s. Indiana University Press and Digital Humanities is in the process of being engaged as the project’s main players. A Space of their Own focuses on holdings in museums (particularly Europe and North America), but private collectors and their holdings of women artists will also be available on the website. Information on women artists will be linked back to the institutions that hold their works so that the project will form an active network of associations focused on bringing more awareness to art by historic women. Number of participating North American institutions contacted thus far - 500 plus museums. In-progress database of European museums by country or region: Great Britain (complete); Germany, Austria, France, Scandinavia, Russia, Italy, Spain and Portugal, Hungary, Poland, Czech Republic. Left: The Sidney and Lois Eskenazi Museum of Art and its Portrait of Mrs. Chinnery by Elisabeth Louise Vigée Le Brun

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“Why we speak…” At AWA, we speak in person, on camera and across Oceans… … to give historic women artists their voice in history


Her ‘invisible artists’ bring a message of hope to Hoosiers


any of AWA’s friends have been sending their best wishes to our founder and chair Jane Fortune over the past months as she has faced chemotherapy. It is with pure joy that we watch Jane continue her quest by giving lectures at varied venues in Indianapols. Since our last edition of Inside AWA, she has inspired audiences with Making the Invisible Visible 40

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a lecture at the IMA, Indianpolis Museum of Art. Jane’s inspirational speeches have also brought hope to many participants at cancer support groups in Indianapolis. She tells new AWA fans about courageous and creative women of the past and of her modern-day quest to restore art by women in Florence... Rescuing ‘invisible women artists’ is front and center as a driving force in her life. INSIDE AWA · Spring 2018

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AWA at Florence’s Palazzo Borghese


ith their renowned annual prize, Florence’s club ‘Amici delle Muse’ honors top cultural figures who have been inspired by mythological Muses. In February 2018 AWA was invited by Club president Giuliana Plastino Fiumicelli to hold a lecture at the historic Palazzo Borghese, a breathtaking venue at via Ghibellina 110. Our lecture Muses... and Makers. The restoration of art by women in Florence presented AWA’s Tuscan effort to reclaim the region’s art-by-women legacy. Why were early women artists both ‘makers’ and ‘muses’ in Italy? How is the restoration of their works changing the worldwide art scene today?

AWA premieres as ‘Monuments Women’ Florence - International Festival of Cinema and Women


WA peeks out from the Silver Screen at Florence’s cinema festival, by and about women. What does a ‘day in the life’ of AWA look like… on camera? Napoli-raised, Milan-educated cinema director Giuseppe Carrerri followed AWA’s footsteps on film while creating Episode One of an 8-part docufilm series Noi Siamo Cultura, produced by laeffe-tv di Feltrinelli (Sky, channel 139). The show’s purpose is to capture the ins and outs of the foundation’s Tuscan quest. Its cinema premiere in Florence was celebrated on November 8, 2017, as part of the inaugural festivities of the 39th edition of Florence’s Festival Internazionale di Cinema e Donne.

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Words from women everywhere

We reached far and wide on TV, in the papers and in person...

Making waves ‘In Florence, they're bringing the works of women artists out of the basement', says reporter Anna Bensted, during her radio feature on PRI's The World. Her five-minute broadcast on AWA's work at the Uffizi and beyond does just what Public Radio International promises to do by 'crossing borders and time zones to bring home the stories that matter.'

The Guardian gives a glimpse There's nothing like seeing restoration 'above the fold' in Britain's daily, The Guardian. ‘New Renaissance: How Florence is freeing its great female artists’ is a must-read article which gives a voice to the Florence restorers who are making AWA's dreams possible. Joanna Moorhead, the article's author, is a British journalist and novelist whose latest book on a significant female surrealist painter is close to our hearts: The Surreal Life of Leonora Carrington.


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AWA 'dreams of Italy' – The documentary Executive producer and host Kathy McCabe shares a side of culture that sparkles in her PBS documentary Dream of Italy – broadcast Stateswide right now! Nelli's Last Supper is a highlight of the episode on Florence. Shot at the height of summer, the segment, broadcast Stateside as of January 2018, makes our in-progress painting extra luminous - it is Nelli like you've never seen her. Author Sarah Durant at an AWA event

TV host and producer Kathy McCabe from PBS series Dream of Italy with 'Nelli'

The Sun never sets on AWA... In Britain, novelist and historian Sarah Dunant has been lecturing around the country, highlighting Nelli’s work and that of AWA to restore her paintings. Author of The Birth of Venus, Sarah weaves the story of Nelli into an illustrated talk on finding women in Renaissance Italy and specifically the research she did for her novel Sacred Hearts, where she looks at creativity behind convent walls, as well as the wonder and the horrors of convent life. The Arts Society, with hundreds of branches around Britain, is a major host of her lectures.

Where the Council comes in International Advisory Council member Joan Jacobs introduces AWA to audiences of more than 300 at a time, throughout her uber-popular 'Art Talk' series. Her last lecture Great Women Artists was well-received at Artis–Naples, 'the premier center for the performing and visual arts' in Southwest Florida that is home to the Baker Museum and Naples Philharmonic. Worldwide adocacy is the main role of our growing Council Thank you, Joan! INSIDE AWA · Spring 2018

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International Advisory Council member Joan Jacobs during her series ‘Art Talk’.


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Violante Ferroni's largescale works are displayed inside stucco frames on either side of San Giovanni di Dio's monumental staircase, in the venue's atrium Inset: Detail of The Saint gives bread to the poor, Violante Ferroni, 1756


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San Giovanni di Dio Hospital (now a historic museum specialized in medicine)

The Art of Healing

Newly discovered works by Violante Ferroni


ne of Florence’s oldest hospitals, San Giovanni di Dio was founded by the Vespucci family in 1382, to host victims of the plague. Now a museum, it is located in the heart of the Ognissanti district, just steps from AWA’s Florence office! We were completely unaware of the fact that it hosts two largescale works by eighteenth-century painter Violante

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Ferroni until they were brought to the foundation’s attention by AWA Advocate and restorer Elizabeth Wicks. You’ll remember Liz from her work on Santa Maria Maddalena de’ Pazzi’s masterwork by Violante Siries Cerroti. Here is her overview of Florence’s ‘other Violante’… a new ‘invisible woman’ whose art needs saving in the near future.


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The Saint gives bread to the poor, Violante Ferroni, 1756

The San Giovanni commission is an extremely prestigious one that attests to the solid reputation enjoyed by Ferroni during her lifetime

“Violante Ferroni is a Florentine painter born in 1720. Very little is currently known about the artist, except that she was the pupil of Gian Domenico Ferretti, a painter who dominated the Florentine art scene during much of the eighteenth century. Violante was active in his workshop and is said to have been the model for Ferretti’s Portrait of a Lady dressed as Diana. She was accepted as a member of the Accademia del Disegno, Europe’s first drawing academy, in 1736. Her work was exhibited in the Academy of San Luca exhibit in 1737 and 1776, as well as in the Uffizi Gallery. The San Giovanni commission is an extremely prestigious one that attests to the solid reputation enjoyed by Ferroni during her lifetime. These 8 x 11.5-feet ovals await rediscovery; darkened by centuries of dirt, they are in dire need of treatment, with flaking paint, tears and holes in the canvas.”

The Saint visits plague victims, Violante Ferroni, 1756


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We are currently drawing up a budget for a full-scale Violante Ferrori project that will likely equal $150,000 for researching, documenting, restoring and promoting the two paintings.

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Women who made Italy’s twentieth-century art Restoration and exhibition uncovers Italy’s cultural history from a feminine perspective


his year our restoration and exhibition project ‘Women Artists of the 1900s’ will fall under a much larger umbrella, as it has grown to national proportions and features multiple artists who carved their creative histories in Italy between the two world wars. It will be part of a Florence-wide extravaganza involving myriad high-profile institutions working in and around Tuscany that spotlight female contributions to culture in every medium! Full details still under wraps…

We believe in getting art by women OUT of storage and into the public limelight. Leonetta Pieraccini and Fillide

Giorgi are the project’s two main painters, whose works will be shown alongside the most significant female artists of their age: Marisa Mori, Flavia Arlotta, Adriana Pincherle, Vittoria Morelli, Elena Salvaneschi, Elisabeth Chaplin and Marisa de Matteis, Ghitta Carell and more.

Flavia Arlotta, Woman in White

Do not be surprised if the names of these artists are new to you... That’s

exactly our point. How many women artists enjoyed renowned in their lifetime only to be forgotten just decades later? Their in-storage art will exhibited in Autumn 2018 in the heart of downtown Florence, at our co-organizer’s exhibition venue: Ente Cassa di Risparmio in via Bufalini.

iew of ffirelli ocated ence’s house.

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Marisa Mori, The physical elation of maternity


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We must salvage the stories of women artists who are not yet forgotten by today’s generation. We seek to record ‘living memory’ while we can, and reveal these artists’ creativity to the world. Elisabeth Chaplin, Nennette climbing the stairs

Above: Fillide Levasti, Still Life

The restoration of 5 works by Leonetta Pieraccini is already underway. Pieraccini’s paintings and

Marisa Mori, Self Portrait

drawings find their home at Florence’s famed Gabinetto Vieusseux, an archival study center and international library that was once a magnet for minds like DH Lawrence and Mark Twain. Restoration is scheduled for completion in September 2018.

A 360-degree project

Villa Il Palmerino will be hosting conferences, music performances, roundtable discussions and the presentation of Florence’s growing and recently restored female archives on paper, including photography and drawings. It is a 360 degree view of the creative mediums women adopted between the two world wars in Italy.


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Above and bottom left: Works by Leonetta Pieraccini Cecchi, under restoration

PROJECT BASICS AND BUDGET Here's a budget estimate showing what it will take to support this project: This project's budget has been estimated at 83,000 euros. AWA has committed to finding sponsors to contribute 33,000 euro which includes the following:


Diagnostics, cleaning, color consolidation, stucco work, biocide anti-parasite treatment, support restoration, pictorial restoration, varnishing, materials. Frame restorations, including disassembly and remounting. Transport to exhibition venue.


Full-phase photography campaign, documentaryshort and video, restoration trailer. Event filming and photography.


Honorarium for curators, printing, graphics, editing, photo rights and curation.


Five art/culture events at Associazione Culturale Il Palmerino aimed at developing interest for the project, including University student 'Prize', restoration workshop, plein-air painting for modern-day women artists responding to 'Women Artists of the 1900s' and two cultural lectures (TBA).

Our partner, the Ente Cassa di Risparmio is supporting the following:

VENUE AND MANAGEMENT – 50,000 euro Exhibition personnel, signage, set up, scenery, architect, graphic designer, scientific registrar, panels, display cases, lighting, sworn-guards and venue personnel, set up and management, transport of works from national museums and collections, press conference.

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Palazzo Vecchio welcomes Plautilla Nelli A ‘new’ painting for the old palace


s its Christmas gift to the City of Florence, AWA restored a Palazzo Vecchio painting, attributed to Plautilla Nelli by US scholar Catherine Turrill. Previously in storage and now on display in the palace’s Mezzanine, it is thought to be one of two Annunciations by the artist that Giorgio Vasari mentions in his Lives.

The Annunciation is one of the best-loved painterly themes in Florence. Because this painting depicts the Virgin Mary receiving news of Christ’s birth from the Archangel Gabriel, we thought its restoration a perfect way to share the Christmas spirit. The Christmas tradition of giving restored art as a present started in 2009 with our exhibition at Palazzo Pitti entitled A Christmas Gift to the City of Florence which featured Artemisia Gentileschi’s newly restored David and Bathsheba, created for the royal apartments of Grand Duke Cosimo II. This gesture spurred the official founding of Advancing Women Artists and it’s one we hope to repeat often.


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"We are happy – says Mayor Dario Nardella – that this painting is being displayed at its 'home' in Palazzo Vecchio. Unfortunately, art by women is not well-known, but it is a very important part of our country's culture. We are thankful to AWA for the passion and insight with which it helps us rediscover this heritage." This project’s main players? The City of Florence, the Florence Civic Museums and the Superintendent’s Office for Fine Arts and Landscape of Florence and the Provinces of Pistoia and Prato and AWA. Special thanks go to its curators Serena Pini and Jennifer Celani and restorer Rossella Lari. This project would not have been possible without the collective efforts of our all-female conservation team.

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From manuscripts… to social media Tools for taking the world by storm

AWA Director Linda Falcone studies Nelli's manuscript at the San Marco

iew of ffirelli ocated ence’s house.


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On line and in the loop…

Newsletters are for sharing

We’ve taken strides to get with the times by strengthening AWA’s presence on the web and in social media. Our growing website is constantly updated with news and highlights… and now, there’s a whole new feature that will keep you clicking again and again. AWA’s volunteer cultural representative Leslie Jameff is choosing our weekly ‘Top Picks’ which feature ‘women-in-the-arts’ news worldwide. Invite those you love to have a look at our homepage: www.

Good news is all around. Our growing e-mailing list is thousands strong and we are striving to keep friends abreast of our plans and progress. Make sure to read monthly newsletters… They are a great ‘sharing tool’ for others who’d like to know more about the work we do. It only takes a moment: press forward and extend an invitation to learn more.

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Clockwise from top left: ‘Capturing’ signatures at an AWA event; Leslie Jmaeff heads our Instagram campaign and encourages others to follow her lead; The Dominican friars at Santa Maria Novella are inspired by Nelli’s modern-day story; AWA Advocate, Fiona Richards, publisher of Timeless Travels and… Inside AWA.

Inside AWA Although our insider’s mag is ‘limited edition’, its e-version is a useful tool for those who’d like to enjoy ‘AWA at a glance’. Keep the magazine on your coffee-table and have the link handy for friends far away! This edition is ‘Sojourn strong’… the travelers you love will want to know more.

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AWA is over fifty Would you believe that in 11 years, AWA has restored 51 paintings, sculptures and drawings? Little by little, we are working to get in-depth information about each restoration and artist on line. AWA is growing in all ways… there is lots to look forward to!


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AWA opens the door to invisible art Here’s who holds the keys!

Advocates and Angels at Teatro della Compagnia, premiere


The majority of AWA’s Board were founding members of the organization and work together to guarantee the success of its mission, as well as ensuring its financial viability and public renown. To this end, AWA Board members enjoy full voting rights. The Board is overseen by our officers: Founder and Chair Jane Fortune; Vice Chair Nancy Galliher and Secretary Alice Vogler. Along with AWA’s International Advisory Council members, AWA’s Board receives ‘first choice’ when it comes to evaluating and supporting restoration opportunities in Tuscany.


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INTERNATIONAL ADVISORY COUNCIL is a growing community of

international women that offers continual support to AWA’s Board of Trustees. Membership is by invitation only and implies an annual commitment of $1000. IA Council members receive bi-annual invitations to attend joint Board and IA Council meetings (in the Florence and Florida), where we exchange ideas and devise plans that shape the future of AWA. IA Council members are fundamental to program development in all areas: fundraising, cultural programs, foundation image, outreach and international events. AWA is seeking to conscientiously grow its Council, to form a network of dedicated women, whose vision and talent are assets for the foundation worldwide.

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Who are the ‘AWA Advocates’? A volunteer committee, once called ‘the Florence Council of Advisors’, this group of art lovers and field professionals are often Florence-based or have a strong Florence connection. Restorers, writers, graphic designers, video-makers, bloggers, art historians, tour guides and more… make up this dynamic group of AWA aficionados who keep watch for when volunteer opportunities arise on a time-by-time basis.

THE HONORARY COUNCIL OF WOMEN MUSEUM CURATORS IN FLORENCE Florence has over 30 women curators whose support and guidance make AWA projects possible. Over a decade ago when our Founder first became an advocate for the restoration of art by women in Florence, she began by approaching female museum directors and curators in the city. Through bi-annual ‘AWA Directors’ Luncheons’, she introduced a concept that was then foreign to Italy: ‘networking’. As art historians and those responsible for the ‘wellbeing’ of the paintings and sculptures we restore, they guide each of our conservation projects, working with the conservator to decide on the best way to proceed.


AWA’s Art Angel program was started for those who may not be based in Florence but would like to be aware of our progress and events… and share them! This annual $100 contribution in support of AWA projects in Florence includes special perks, such as inadvance invitations to public events and a trimester newsletter. The Art Angel contribution can also be given in someone else’s name. A Florence-inspired card is sent to those who receive ‘wings’ as a gift.

AWA founder with Women Museum Curators in Florence

A doorway to hidden art in Florence. Last Supper Museum of Andrea del Sarto

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Board and Council at San Salvi Museum Deposits


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“Women who drew” AWA is co-organizer of hands-on workshop for art by women on paper


omen who drew is a special introductory workshop for restoring art on paper by women artists. Its first edition was celebrated in February 2018. Its aim is to raise awareness about Florence’s growing archives on female heritage through the conservation of prints, drawings and photography. AWA is turning its gaze to works on paper! Brainchild of our sister organization Associazione Culturale Il Palmerino, the workshop was held at the newly inaugurated Atelier degli Artigianelli whose public mission is to recover traditional Florentine craftsmanship. Participant’s will be restoring works from the center’s collection or that belong to prestigious ‘noble’ collections in Florence like that of the Corsini princes (or princesses!) 58

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This hands-on program was a welcome initiative in Florence’s Oltrarno district, located on the artisans’ side of the Arno River. Open to eight art-loving participants from all ‘walks of knowledge and expertise’, the workshop was led by restorer and center director Beatrice Cuniberti. AWA awarded one of two program grants to Sharifa Lookman, a graduate student in art history at Syracuse University in Florence. “Il Palmerino is a growing art salon where artists and intellectuals gather to produce and protect art,” says its president Federica Parietti. “Women who drew is smallscale but extremely important; it spotlights what AWA has taught the whole of Tuscany - that restoration is the first step in reclaiming the history of women, locally and throughout the world.”

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Clockwise from top left: A lady in waiting - A print to restore; Recording knowledge - Creating an ‘art connection’ between generations; One of the participants’ restoration choices from the Palazzo Corsini Collection; Participants becoming aquaited with restoration hopefuls. AWA grant awardee Sharifa Lookman, front and center; Step I - Recognizing the conservation needs of different types of documents

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Lea Colliva on the Pathway of the Gods

Il Palmerino hosts summer art-by-women exhibition

Views of Il Palmerino, along the 'Pathway of the Gods'


l Palmerino reclaims its place along the age-old ‘Pathway of the Gods’ (via degli Dei) during our upcoming joint-project dedicated to researching, restoring and exhibiting works by Bolognese painter Lea Colliva.

iew of ffirelli ocated ence’s house.


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Lea Colliva's Self Portrait under restoration

As pilgrims, art lovers and hikers continue to trek from Monzuno (Bologna) to Florence on foot, following the medieval pilgrims’ path through world-renowned hill country, they come upon Il Palmerino, Florence’s first house, on the border of Fiesole.

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Lea Colliva's Friends, Tempera on paper (above), Composition with fruit and drapery (below)

A native of Monzuno, Lea Colliva (1901– 1975) painted prodigiously. Landscape scenes and portraiture characterize her experience as a Bolognese artist who garnered a level of artistic admiration from her contemporaries that modern-day collective memory has yet to reclaim. AWA’s role in this project is one of research, catalog curation, cultural outreach and intern management. With Il Palmerino, we will be working with conservator Beatrice Cuniberti, Director of Atelier degli Artigianelli, who will be restoring a self-portrait by Colliva as an offshoot of our Women who drew initiative. Other project partners include, the Fondazione Bertocchi-Colliva, headed by art historian Beatrice Buscaroli, and the Municipality of Monzuno, which will be hosting an exhibition by Il Palmerino’s former owner, English-born artist Lola Costa (dates TBA).

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The times, they are a-changin’


n 2007, when AWA not yet a full-fledged organization but Jane Fortune had already discovered the vocation she wished to share, a small executive committee would approach museum directors in Florence announcing our intention to fund the restoration and exhibition of art by historic women. At that time, ‘Why?’ was not an uncommon response! Eleven years have since passed and it is with great joy that we find that times are changing in Florence… and around the world. This year’s International Women’s Day brought about a plethora of interesting exhibitions including the Uffizi Galleries’ Elisabetta Sirani show and the Laurentian Library’s Women’s Voices exhibition. Our mission cannot reach fruition without the help of our beloved Florence venues, and as we extend heartfelt congratulations, we can’t help but feel that the spark AWA first ignited more than a decade ago has finally caught fire! Complimenti!


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he Laurentian Library's show was curated by director Anna Rita Fantoni and Rosalia Manno (president of Florence Archives for the Memory and Writing of Women). It makes archival documents, manuscripts and letters accessible in person or on-screen, and displays books, miniatures and art on paper, that was owned, authored or crafted by women artists, patrons and princesses.

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Women Artists’ Research Program Director at Medici Archive Project Sheila Barker with world-renowned Sirani scholar Adelina Modesti


he Elisabetta Sirani exhibition brings together 38 drawings and paintings by the sixteenth-century Bolognese painter who was known for ‘proving’ her skill and speed by painting in the public piazza. It displayed the bulk of the Uffizi’s Sirani drawings collection, in addition to a handful of important paintings like the privately-owned Little Love and the Pushkin’s allegorical self-portrait. This last photo? Our founder thinking about the Sirani show from afar, with her own Madonna by the artist.


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In-depth articles | stunning photographs discover travel from an art and history perspective 065 TT Ad single.indd 72

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Through Advocacy, Contributions, Volunteering and Research, please join us. advancingwomenartists

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Inside AWA - Spring 2018  

The birth of spring 2018 brings budding ideas and this edition of Inside AWA is no exception! As you turn its pages, join us in celebrating...

Inside AWA - Spring 2018  

The birth of spring 2018 brings budding ideas and this edition of Inside AWA is no exception! As you turn its pages, join us in celebrating...