Patricia H. Labalme Friends of the Library Lecture

Colm Tóibín & Sara Antonelli – On Henry James

martedì 18 ottobre 2016 18:00
Villa Aurelia
Largo di Porta S. Pancrazio, 1
Rome, Italia
Colm Tóibín with Sara Antonelli - On Henry James

This event is the Patricia H. Labalme Friends of the Library Lecture and is part of the series New Work in the Arts & Humanities: American Classics.

This year marks the centenary of the death of Henry James, the literary titan and cosmopolitan figure whose classic novels explore the culture clash between brash Americans and jaded European society. In this event, Colm Tóibín, the author of the award-winning novel The Master (2004), which unpacks James’s complex character towards the end of the writer’s life, will discuss James’s legacy with Sara Antonelli, who teaches Anglo American literature at the Università degli Studi Roma Tre.

From early novels such as The Europeans or The Portrait of a Lady, which pitted the innocence of the new world against the corruption of the old, to later works, including The Golden Bowl and The Wings of the Dove, James crafted increasingly nuanced portraits of American identities thrown into relief by their experiences abroad. Many of his stories are set against the backdrop of Rome, drawing upon James’s thorough knowledge of the inner workings of its patrician palaces and artists’ studios. James himself, however, despite his prolific output, copious letters, notebooks, novels, and plays, as well as the many portraits of him by friends, remains an enigmatic figure. This has made him and his work an alluring subject for contemporary scholars and writers, including Tóibín, who have speculated about many aspects of his personal life, including his sexual proclivities, his friendships with men and women, his relationships with his siblings, and his ill-fated interest in the theater.

The event will be held in English.

The 2016–17 Conversations/Conversazioni series is sponsored by the Helen Frankenthaler Foundation. Additional support is provided by the Embassy of Ireland in Italy.

Alina Payne – Architecture, Words, and the Limits of Drawing

martedì 17 marzo 2020 18:00
Villa Aurelia
Largo di Porta S. Pancrazio, 1
Rome, Italia

Sheepskin parchment (photograph provided by William Cowley)



Alina Payne will deliver the American Academy in Rome Friends of the Library Lecture for 2019–20. Her talk is titled “Architecture, Words, and the Limits of Drawing.”

Payne is Alexander P. Misheff Professor of History of Art and Architecture at Harvard University and Paul E. Geier Director of Villa I Tatti, the Harvard University Center for Italian Renaissance Studies. She is the author of The Architectural Treatise in the Italian Renaissance: Architectural Invention, Ornament, and Literary Culture (1999), Rudolf Wittkower (with Francesco Peri, 2011), From Ornament to Object: Genealogies of Architectural Modernism (2012), The Telescope and the Compass: Teofilo Gallaccini and the Dialogue between Architecture and Science in the Age of Galileo (2012), and L’architecture parmi les arts: Matérialité, transferts et travail artistique dans l’Italie de la Renaissance (2016). Payne has edited numerous volumes of essays including, most recently, Renaissance and Baroque Architecture (2016), Histories of Ornament: From Global to Local (with Gülru Necipoglu and Michele Bacci, 2016), and Revision, Revival, and Return: The Renaissance in the Nineteenth Century (with Lina Bolzoni, 2016). In 2006 Payne was awarded the Max Planck and Alexander von Humboldt Prize in the Humanities (2006–12). She is a fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences.

The lecture will be held in English. You can watch it live at

Andrew Robison – Piranesi Connoisseurship: The AAR’s Special Copy of the “Antichità d’Albano” (1764)

martedì 9 febbraio 2021 18:00
AAR Zoom
Tempo dell’Europa Centrale
Roma, Italia
Andrew Robison - Piranesi Castel Gandolfo

Detail of plate XXII of the Antichità d’Albano (1764): “Elevazione e prospetto d’ un’ altra piscina esistente nella vigna de’ PP della Compagnia di Gesù a Castel Gandolfo”

For centuries Giovanni Battista Piranesi’s magnificent etchings and books have been the most influential images of ancient Roman architecture, both in fact and in fantasy. They were so much desired, and so many copies of Piranesi’s works have flooded the world, that it is hard to sort out which ones are actually the closest to what their author wanted, and the best as works of art. The American Academy in Rome has one of the finest copies of Piranesi’s fundamental 1764 book on the antiquities of Albano.
On Tuesday, February 9, Andrew Robison, a prominent Piranesi scholar and the now-retired senior curator of prints and drawings at the National Gallery of Art in Washington, DC, will situate the Academy’s copy of the Antichità d’Albano in Piranesi’s broader work and reveal the special qualities of this copy.

The Patricia H. Labalme Friends of the Library Lecture, to be presented on Zoom, is free and open to the public. The start time is 6:00pm Central European Time (12:00 noon Eastern Time).

The Friends of the Library supports the Library through annual dues and special initiatives. The group also helps to raise awareness of the Library’s resources through regular programs. Join online today!

Watch the video

Mary Beard, Linda Douglass, Sabina Ciuffini & Kashetu Kyenge – Women, Books, and Blogs: Public Speech in the Age of Social Media

martedì 21 ottobre 2014 18:30
Villa Aurelia
Largo di Porta S. Pancrazio, 1
Rome, Italia
Patricia H. Labalme Friends of the Library Lecture - Women, Books and Blogs: Public Speech in the Age of Social Media

For the Patricia H. Labalme Friends of the Library Lecture, a group of academics, journalists, and politicians will discuss the status of women as public intellectuals and how the advent of new media has changed the nature and tenor of feminist discourse. The historical role of women’s voices—as authors and advocates—will be laid against the new terrain presented by the twenty-four-hour news cycle and the democratized internet.

Participants include: Mary Beard, a professor of classics and a blogger for the Times; Linda Douglass, the former White House communications director for health care; Sabina Ciuffini, an entrepreneur and a blogger for Il Fatto Quotidiano; and Kashetu Kyenge, an Italian politician and ophthalmologist.

Simultaneous translation will be available. Seating is on a first-come, first-served basis.

The Friends of the Library Annual Book Sale will be held in the Academy’s Salone from 2:00 to 5:00pm on the same day.

This event is made possible, in part, by the generous support of the Embassy of the United States of America.

Francesco Buranelli – Palazzo Farnese ovvero una Accademia “ante litteram”

mercoledì 15 febbraio 2012 18:00
Villa Aurelia
Largo di Porta S. Pancrazio, 1
Rome, Italia
Palazzo Farnese ovvero una Accademia 'ante litteram'

A distanza di circa cinquecento anni dalla costruzione di Palazzo Farnese per volere ed opera di Papa Paolo III (Alessandro Farnese, 1468–1549, Papa dal 1534) e dei suoi cardinali nipoti, il "gran" cardinale Alessandro, Ranuccio e Odoardo, Palazzo Farnese continua ancora oggi ad assolvere un ruolo di primaria importanza nella cultura europea come ha dimostrato la mostra organizzata lo scorso anno dall’Ambasciata di Francia. Questa "vocazione culturale" ha radici profonde e si sviluppò solo grazie alla accorta e lungimirante iniziativa di Casa Farnese che chiamò a lavorare a Palazzo i migliori architetti, artisti e decoratori del Rinascimento oltre ai più colti umanisti del tempo. Questa Accademia ”ante-litteram” non venne mai meno, anzi si rigenerò nei secoli ed ancora oggi, a distanza di secoli, ne possiamo apprezzare i contenuti e i risultati.

La conferenza si terrà in lingua italiana. Posti disponibili fino ad esaurimento.

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