American Federation of Arts and LoveItaly Announce New Exhibition Partnership with Italian Museums

Initial Support Provided By the Samuel H. Kress Foundation

The American Federation of Arts in collaboration with LoveItaly announced today a new partnership with the Italian Ministry of Cultural Heritage and Activities and Tourism (MiBACT) to develop art exhibitions drawn from Italian collections to be presented in museums around the United States, initiated with support from the Samuel H. Kress Foundation.

Since 2012, the U.S. Department of State and the Italian Ministry of Foreign Affairs have promoted cultural cooperation between their nations in furtherance of a bilateral Memorandum of Understanding. In order to maximize the potential of this shared commitment, the American Federation of Arts in New York has formed a partnership with LoveItaly, a nonprofit organization dedicated to sustaining Italy’s cultural heritage. The goal of this collaboration, called the Italy-U.S. Exhibition Program, is to develop and present multiple exhibitions and loans from museums and cultural institutions across Italy in U.S. museums, for the benefit of millions of visitors.

On February 28, 2018, AFA and LoveItaly signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the Directorate General of Museums, a division of the Italian Ministry of Cultural Heritage and Activities and Tourism (MiBACT), to begin planning a series of exhibition projects over the next several years. Open to leading American museums, the collaboration will provide access to loans and exhibitions, artworks and archaeological materials from across Italy.

Additionally, during their visit to Italy earlier this year, Pauline Willis, director and CEO of the AFA, and Dr. Maxwell L. Anderson, former trustee of the AFA, along with representatives of LoveItaly, met with the directors of several museums and cultural institutions to discuss exhibition themes. Among those who are participating are the Directorate General of Museums, a division of MiBACT; the National Etruscan Museum of Villa Giulia; the National Archaeological Museum of Naples; and eight archeological museums in the Veneto region.

The AFA will develop and lead the relationships with American museums and peer foundations, and oversee the thematic underpinnings, publications, fundraising, logistics, insurance, transportation, product development, and marketing of projects, in regular consultation with the National Endowment for the Arts and the U.S. State Department’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs (ECA). About the project, Pauline Willis stated: “As America’s leading organization in the development and presentation of traveling art exhibitions, AFA is extremely pleased to be working hand-in-hand with our partners in the Italian Ministry of Culture and LoveItaly. We foresee ample opportunities for North American audiences to benefit from ground-breaking research, conservation, and exhibitions revealing the unparalleled treasures of Italian cultural heritage.”

LoveItaly will develop and lead the collaboration’s relationships with Italian museum officials, superintendencies, MiBACT, and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Washington, D.C. to identify prospective loans, negotiate permits with relevant ministerial authorities, and secure authorization to export loans. LoveItaly’s President, Dr. Hodges stated: “The collaboration among LoveItaly, the AFA, and the Ministry represents a watershed in international cooperation, and promises to provide access to important examples of Italian heritage to countless museumgoers, while drawing attention to the urgent needs of monuments and museums.”

The collaboration’s Senior Project Advisor is Dr. Maxwell L. Anderson, former president of the Association of Art Museum Directors and Consulting Scholar in the Mediterranean Section of the University of Pennsylvania Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology.

For more information contact:
Jessica Edwards,
Natalie Espinosa, or 212.988.7700 x 205.

About the American Federation of Arts
The American Federation of Arts is the leader in traveling exhibitions internationally. A nonprofit organization founded in 1909, the AFA is dedicated to enriching the public’s experience and understanding of the visual arts through organizing and touring art exhibitions for presentation in museums around the world, publishing exhibition catalogues featuring important scholarly research, and developing educational programs.

About LoveItaly
LoveItaly is a nonprofit organization, launched with the support of LVenture Group, dedicated to the preservation and appreciation of Italy’s unique cultural heritage as the world’s greatest living museum. The association is the first of its kind to support conservation projects throughout Italy. LoveItaly operates in collaboration with Italian ministries, superintendents for Italian monuments, fine arts and museums, local and national authorities, church leaders and higher institutions of learning including Italian and international universities and academies.


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