Religion in Museums

When museums and religion collide

Sacred Objects in Sacred Collections


Shame – I’ve only just heard about this. If you were involved, please let us all know how it went! – Crispin


Sacred Objects in Sacred Collections:
The Museums of Florentine Religious Institutions and their Publics

Friday, 3 October 2014 – San Jacopo in Campo Corbolini, via Faenza 43, Florence

For the second event of our Forum on Museums and Religion, we propose a study day that addresses the particular issues associated with the conservation and display of collections of objects historically belonging to religious institutions—a natural segue from our first conference about religious institutions which are themselves visited as museums. Museums associated with religious institutions have a special mandate to maintain the profile of their institution as a whole and speak to members of their communities; yet, they frequently possess objects of great historical and aesthetic value which are of interest to a broader and possibly non-religious public. In some cases, these collections are overseen by non-religious institutions. As custodians of sacred objects of different natures and religious status’, are such institutions responsible for reinforcing the holy nature of their collections to their publics? If so, how can this best be done so as to invite deep a understanding of spiritual messages without appearing to proselytize? This study day investigates the means and difficulties in guaranteeing the survival and deep appreciation of such collections in the Florentine area though a series of talks and a roundtable discussion.
Conference Program:

9.00 Benvenuto – Il forum sui musei e la religione Prof. Maia Wellington Gahtan, Istituto Lorenzo de’ Medici Prof. Anna Benvenuti, Università degli Studi di Firenze Prof. Rita Capurro, Università Politecnico di Milano

Keynote Mons. Timothy Verdon, Museo dell’Opera del Duomo – Grande Museo del Duomo.

10.15 Tavola rotonda Moderatore: Don Alfredo Jacopozzi, Responsabile culturale della diocesi

11.15 Caffè

11.30 Dott. Licia Bertani, Museo Diocesano di Santo Stefano al Ponte

12.00 Dott. Silvia Colucci, Museo Comunale di Santa Maria Novella & Santa Maria del Carmine

12.30 Dott. Fausta Navarro, Museo di San Salvi

13.00 Pranzo

14.30 Dott. Giuseppe De Micheli, Museo di Santa Croce

15.00 Dott. Antonio Godoli, Orsanmichele

15.30 Dott. Eleonora Mazzocchi, Istituto degli Innocenti

16.00 Visita al Museo del Tesoro di San Lorenzo in memoria di Mons. Fabrizio Porcinai

info: tel. 055 287360 | | Forum on museums and religion | Forum sui musei e la religione: Don Alfredo Jacopozzi, Responsabile culturale della diocesi)


2 thoughts on “Sacred Objects in Sacred Collections

  1. I’ll be there, and I’ll tell you something about it! Just to start: this is the second conference on the topic museums/religion organized by the Istituto Lorenzo de’ Medici in Florence; the proceedings of it have been published in M. Wellington Gahtan (ed), Churches, Temples, Mosques: Places of Worship or Museums? Edifir: Florence, 2012

  2. We would love to hear more about this as we are currently working with our state government museum funding body @Arts_Tasmania on a community heritage project to foster public appreciation of our city’s significant and diverse urban sanctuaries and its spiritual landscape.

    Our understanding of the Sacred, in this project, is not confined to a specific religious tradition and we are being encouraged to think about how a cultural sociological construction of the Sacred might help a community to appreciate difference in the expression of sacrality in public architecture, art, sacred collections, and ritual.

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