After a restorative winter break spent reconnecting with family and returning to my own writing, I am ready to leap into the new semester. I’m particularly looking forward to participating in our spring line-up of scholarly programs at the Institute, continuing to mentor our wonderful group of Master’s students and preparing to welcome our second class this fall, developing our programming at The Wilcox Space, and tending to our fledgling Center for the Art and Architectural History of Port Cities in Naples.
Our first semester at the Center in Naples was busy and intense, full of successes both large and small—our study day on the ancient port of Naples with Rabun Taylor of UT Austin was a highlight, as well as our series of visiting scholars (Sabina de Cavi, Nora Lambert, Silvia Armando, Kristen Streahle, and Julie Beckers) who gave informal seminars on their work for our Research Residents and Capodimonte colleagues.
No less exciting have been the many discoveries that our Residents have made on the ground in Naples and in the archives. Throughout the semester, our extraordinary Research Coordinator Francesca Santamaria has led our residents on visits to collections, libraries, archives, conservation studios, and other sites in Naples.
I’ll make my next trip to Naples in February, when we’ll welcome scholars Brigitte Marin and Ivan Foletti to lead seminars with our Residents. And at the end of May we will host a scholars’ seminar on research approaches to the movement of artworks, artists, and artists’ materials between the Italian and Iberian peninsulas in the premodern world.
Organized in collaboration with my colleague and friend Sabina de Cavi, the program will include seminar-style presentations, roundtable conversations, and site visits to archives throughout the city. At the same time, we are already looking ahead to the next academic year; you will find a call for applications for 2019-2020 Research Residencies in Naples here.
There have been growing pains over these first months too—we are still working to secure a strong and reliable wireless signal, for example! But passo dopo passo we are hitting our stride, and I am constantly reenergized by the intellectual life that is springing up right in the heart of the Bosco di Capodimonte. Colleagues at institutions throughout the city, and most importantly at the Museo di Capodimonte, have opened their doors to us with warmth and enthusiasm. In ways large and small they have supported our Residents’ research and helped us establish the Center’s scholarly presence in Naples.
I am convinced that our work at the Center will make an important contribution to new research on Naples, south Italy, and the Mediterranean. And I am thrilled that the O’Donnell Institute’s scholarly presence on the Bay of Naples will become even more important beginning this summer, when we will welcome the archeologist Michael Thomas as the Institute’s new Director—one of Michael’s current research focuses is at the Roman site of Oplontis, just south of Naples. The future is bright for the O’Donnell Institute, both in Dallas and in Naples!
Dr. Sarah K. Kozlowski
Associate Director (Acting Director 2018-2019)
The Edith O’Donnell Institute of Art History