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You are here: Home The Goods Scarsdale Curator Linda Wolk-Simon Brings the Art of 17th Century Rome to Fairfield University
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Scarsdale Curator Linda Wolk-Simon Brings the Art of 17th Century Rome to Fairfield University

berniniScarsdale resident and renowned curator Linda Wolk-Simon is making headlines in the art world with her upcoming show of works from the Church of the Gesu in Rome that have never left Italy before. On view at the Bellarmine Hall Galleries of the Fairfield University Art Museum will be masterpieces by the great baroque sculptor and his contemporaries Gian Lorenzo Bernini, Giovanni Battista Gaulli and Ciro Ferri, three of the leading artists in Rome in the 17th century, as well as a stupendous jeweled and gold Cartagloria (richly ornamented altar cardframes) and a magnificent embroidered chasuble (vestment) made for the church's great benefactor, Cardinal Alessandro Farnese—one of the finest examples of its kind to survive from the Renaissance. The large painted wood model of the apse (the semi—dome behind the high altar) by Gaulli is essentially a miniature version of the actual interior of the church with his fresco decoration included, and is one of the many visual treats the exhibition offers.

The exhibition titled, "The Holy Name – Art of the Gesu: Bernini and His Age" runs from February 2 through May 19. It will showcase these extraordinary works of art normally found within the Church of the Gesu, which is the mother church of the Society of Jesus, founded by Ignatius of Loyola in 1540 in the charged religious and political climate of the Counter-Reformation. Visitors will learn about the immensely talented artists who created the works and the powerful and strong-willed personalities whose ambitions and financial means made it all possible.

The big attraction is Bernini's bust of Cardinal Roberto Bellarmino that has never left Rome before. Striking for its lifelike naturalism, it is one of Bernini's early works and particularly meaningful because Roberto Bellarmino (the antagonist of Galileo) is the patron saint of Fairfield University.

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The landmark exhibition celebrates Fairfield University's 75th anniversary and presents the five works from the Gesu itself with over fifty paintings, sculptures, drawings, prints, rare books, historical documents and objects from American public and private collections that elaborate the story of the founding of the new religious order, the building of its dazzling church, and the canonization of its first saints.cartagloria

The exhibition was over two years in the planning, the time it took to negotiate the complicated loans from Italy. Simon went into it knowing that getting even one of these major works of art would be a coup—getting all five that she requested was nothing short of a miracle. Commenting on the exhibit, Philippe de Montebello, Director Emeritus of the Metropolitan Museum of Art said, "If I were still director of the Metropolitan, I would be jealous of Fairfield doing this show. It's simply incredible. It brings to the Fairfield University Art Museum some of the greatest artists working in 17th-century Rome."

The exhibition is free and open to the public and can be viewed at Bellarmine Hall Galleries at the Fairfield University Art Museum from February 1 – May 19, 2018. Hourse are Tuesday – Saturday from 11 am to 4 pm. An audio guide narrated by Paul Lakeland, PhD, Kelley chair and professor of Catholic studies will be available. A lecture series on Italian Renaissance and baroque sculpture is being offered. Visit here for details: Fairfield.edu/museum.

LindaSimonCurator Dr. Linda Wolk-Simon is the Director and Chief Curator of the Fairfield University Museum. She came to Fairfield University in February 2015 after 25 years at the Metropolitan Museum of Art where, from 1986 to 2011 she served in many posts, including curator in the Department of Drawings and Prints. While at The Met, she organized a highly attended Raphael exhibition and was co-curator of the well received Art and Love in Renaissance Italy.

Dr. Wolk-Simon specializes in European art of the 15th-19th century with a concentration on the Italian Renaissance, and has published extensively in her field. She is a highly sought-after speaker, having lectured at museums around the country and spoken at conferences in Europe and the United States. She was also an associate editor and reviews editor of the quarterly scholarly journal Master Drawings for several years. She also spent two years as the Charles W. Engelhard Curator and Department Head at The Morgan Library & Museum in New York City, where she organized a critically acclaimed exhibition on Degas, and was responsible for implementing and directing the Morgan Drawing Institute, a research center devoted to fostering scholarship in the field of old master and modern drawings.

She holds a Ph.D. in history of art and a B.A., summa cum laude, both from the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor.

Fairfield University Art Museum
1073 North Benson Road
Fairfield, CT 06824
(203) 254-4046
museum@fairfield.edu

Comments   

#2 Marcia Botti 2018-01-18 18:30
Can't wait to see the exhibit.
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#1 Joanne Wallenstein 2018-01-18 17:15
Kudos to Linda! What an achievement.
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