Joannie Bottkol - Portrait

Joannie Bottkol

Booth Family Rome Prize
7 settembre 2018–26 luglio 2019
Conservator, Historic Architecture, Conservation and Engineering Center, NE Region, National Park Service
Titolo del progetto
An Exploration of the Preservation of Roman Fascist Monuments
Descrizione del progetto

The current controversy over confederate monuments in the US has drawn my thinking to Rome. By studying the conservation and presentation of fascist works in Rome, from the Palazzo della Civiltà Italiana to the Stadio dei Marmi, I want to explore the varying perspectives that define value in Roman fascist art and monuments. While museum conservators tend to value objects through the lens of artist’s intent, conservators of historic homes and house museums more often value the historical context of objects, and often communities do not agree about whether politically charged monuments have value as art, as history, or are devoid of value and should be stowed away. In Rome, fascist monuments are woven into the fabric of the city and cannot be as easily dismantled as our confederate monuments, and so there they stand, ready for study. I plan to look for the physical implications of changing narratives and values on monuments, such as alterations made to mask or modify original intent applied over time, and signs of maintenance or lack thereof. I want to research conservation documentation and have discussions with conservators and stakeholders to untangle past and present approaches to conservation, display, storage and didactics. And I hope to better understand the discourse between Roman conservators, political leaders, and the public regarding the preservation of Rome’s fascist monuments and the role of social justice issues in these discussions. I plan to share the outcomes of this project with the conservation community and beyond, and to use knowledge and insights gained during my time as an AAR community member and through my research to inform my future work.