APBS special for Invisible Women: Forgotten Artists of Florence
- 01. WFYI launches program on rediscovering and protecting art by women
- 02. The making of Invisible Women: Forgotten Artists of Florence
- 03. PBS special spotlights paintings by women rescued from obscurity
- 04. A Word from the Experts
- 05. The Commitment to Safeguarding Art by Women in Florence
WFYI launches program on rediscovering and protecting art by women
Invisible Women, PBS special
Florence, Italy, is the birthplace of some of the world’s most celebrated artists, scientists, and architects—from Michelangelo and Leonardo to Brunelleschi and Galileo. Yet little is known of the women artists who once painted there. A center for female creativity for more than five centuries, Florence hosts innumerable works by significant women painters from the Renaissance onward. Though these masterful paintings rival the art of their great male contemporaries, they are often unseen by the general public. Invisible Women sheds light on these groundbreaking women artists and their virtually unknown works. It also points to the rediscovery and restoration of these works as the guiding forces behind rescuing the art of Florence’s forgotten women artists. Discover the “hidden half” of one of the world's most beloved art cities!
Have a look!
The making of Invisible Women: Forgotten Artists of Florence
WFYI Studios brings historic artists to life
The PBS special Invisible Women: Forgotten Artists of Florence is based on the book by the same name, by Dr. Jane Fortune (The Florentine Press, 2009). Created by WFYI Studios in Indianapolis, the program spotlights state-of-the-art restoration and discovering the lives and works of Florence’s fascinating women artists, bringing together top restoration artists, art historians and museum executives from Italy and the United States. The special showcases the painters whose works populate Florentine museums, including Artemisia Gentileschi, Suor Plautilla Nelli, Irene Parenti Duclos and Maria Hadfield Cosway. Launched on PBS in Indianapolis on November 5 and 10 (7.30 pm and 6.30 pm, respectively), Invisible Women: Forgotten Artists of Florence will be broadcast throughout the nation this fall.
For complete viewing schedule, write to email@example.com
Todd Gould, award-winning producer and script
Todd Gould, Producer and script writer
Clayton Taylor, Vice President Production,
Clayton Taylor, Vice President Production, WFYI Studios
PBS special spotlights paintings by women rescued from obscurity
Maria Hadfield Cosway’s re-discovered self-portrait
The PBS special spotlights a special work discovered in the occasion, namely, the self-portrait of Maria Hadfield Cosway. ‘This is a truly unique painting in the Vasari Corridor,’ explains Dr. Giovanna Giusti, the exhibition’s curator and director of the Uffizi Gallery’s Nineteenth-century and Contemporary Art Departments. ‘We see her as she depicted herself, at the height of youth. In 1778, she presented this work to gain admission to the Florentine Academy of Design. Maria Hadfield Cosway’s painting is very close to our heart here at the Uffizi, because, over time, it had lost its identity, only to be rediscovered recently, two years ago, during archival research for an exhibition dedicated to self-portraits by women artists in the Uffizi Collection.
It was truly a pity that this work by a native Florentine artist of English descent, whose parents had opened an inn in Florence for Grand Tour travelers, had all but disappeared. And here, we see her today, re-discovered, re-emerging from history itself. From the dust, let’s say, of a storage facility. And the painting’s rediscovery has truly enhanced the collection as a whole.”
A Word from the Experts
The conservator works in collaboration with any number of people in determining how the painting or the artwork should look at the end of the treatment. Italian approaches tend to be somewhat different. Occasionally, they may use more neutral tones, which allows the viewer to stand back while the brain combines the individual colored strokes into a more complete continuous tone. When you get close, you can see very clearly that there was no attempt to actually imitate the missing paint. With restoration, there is no one right way. What is important is that however it’s done, it’s done in a reversible manner. So, when people change their minds fifty, seventy-five, or a hundred years from now, it will be easy to undo and use the prevailing philosophy of the time.
David Miller - Senior Conservator of Paintings, Indianapolis Museum of Art
Giorgio Vasari considered Sofonisba Anguissola
a ‘marvel of nature’.
Jennifer Lee, Assoc. Professor of Art History - Indiana University - Purdue University at Indianapolis:
“Florence’s artistic heritage bears witness to a wealth of works left to us by great artists. Within this collection, many works belonging to women artists are still waiting to be identified. Though numerous are well-known and several have been recently rediscovered and valorized, who knows how many others are waiting to become the focal point of specific research and focused study.
Dr. Cristina Acidini, Superintendent for Historical, Artistic and Ethno-Anthropological Heritage and Florence’s Polo Museale
The Commitment to Safeguarding Art by Women in Florence
American sponsors ban together to raise awareness
Various participants pictured with Michelangelo’s David at
The PBS special Invisible Women: Forgotten artists of Florence was made possible thanks to the generous contributions of participants of the 2011 Florentine sojourn:
- Garry and Louise Fredericksen
- Robert and Antoinette Garrison
- Nancy and Bill Hunt
- Anne McCollum
- Raymond and Pam Murphy
- Elizabeth and John Negrey
- Joseph and Mieke Pistone
- Betty and David Schneider
- Frank and Mollie Slattery
- Jayne Spahn
- Ann and Hal Sorgenti
- Sue and John Townsend
- Allan and Robin Windt