Once it was the property of a count who furnished candles to the Vatican; once it was the strategic headquarters of Garibaldi’s last stand against the French; finally it was gifted to the American Academy in Rome by Clara Jessup Heyland in 1909. The Villa Aurelia is large, romantic, diverse, historic and a hop, skip and a jump from AAR. I was lucky enough to go on a garden tour with Alessandra Vinciguerra, Bass Superintendent of Gardens at the American […]
People ask me what’s like at the American Academy in Rome (AAR). I hope this photo blog gives the reader some idea of the physical environment that makes AAR special. Although the building and its grounds at the Academy are amazing. The most important part of being at AAR is the time to work, meet other artists and writers and explore the never-ending layers that make up Rome.
I was reminded of Clarence Kennedy today as I strolled through a “park” near the American Academy in Rome. This so-called green space is filled with broken sculptures, an unbelievable number of stumps and endless debris. Clarence Kennedy was a resident at the American Academy in 1961. Trained as both an art historian and a photographer, Kennedy took a position teaching art history at Smith College in 1916, where he remained for forty four years. Around 1930, he began a […]
I drive to work everyday. If I see a pot hole I avoid driving over it, if possible. The really bad ones are fixed within a couple of weeks. The rest wait for the pot hole fixing time in the NYC. I know Americans and Italians view infrastructure differently. Visiting Rome, for the second time in four years, the same pot holes exist; now they are bigger and more dangerous. The sidewalks, if they exist, are uneven and cracked by […]
“How do you begin a work of public art?” Mark Robbins, President of the American Academy in Rome. “I ask myself where I am… historically, culturally. I walk around – what’s above me. Madison Square Park and the Flat Iron are about a history of looking up. The Flat Iron building was the tallest building in New York until 1905. ” Teresita Fernandez. Mark Robbins had a “conversazioni with Teresita Fernandez last night at the American Academy in Rome prize […]
You can’t argue with a guy who begins a talk with, “I want to share with you what excites me.” Una Volta A Roma (When in Rome ) was the title of John Ochsendorf’s remarks at the Rome Prize Ceremony for winners of Rome Prize (American Academy in Rome). The photograph to the left is dining al fresco at the American Academy. “When others looked down at their food; I looked up and wondered what was underneath the plaster.” […]
Maira Kalman began her stint at the American Academy in Rome exhausted. She told John Guare, she had calculated that over 3 months, she might complete 1,000 paintings. Guare responded “Maybe, you are here to do nothing at all.” Kalman did not tell the audience, assembled at her AAR Home From Rome lecture, (Wandering Aimlessly Around Rome: With One Day Trip to Florence Where I Ate a Boiled Chicken and Came Right Back Home), how many, if any, paintings she completed during […]
Wishing all my readers a productive gardening year in 2014. Thank you for reading. There were many inspiring aspects of being at the American Academy in Rome. One small bit of creativity that grabbed my imagination was a tiny wire chair made from a Prosecco cap. This small bit of creativity sat next to the cappuccino machine at the bar. I appreciate all your comments; please keep them coming. Thank You. Phyllis