The Medici Archive Project

December 1, 2015

The Medici Archive Project is honored to announce that the Jane Fortune Research Program on Women Artists in the Age of the Medici, under the direction of Dr. Sheila Barker, has been awarded the prize for Best Digital Scholarship 2014 by the Society for the Study of Early Modern Women (SSEMW). The Prize Committee were impressed by the program’s work to discover and disseminate new archival material, as well as the the program’s impressive schedule of conferences, publications, and offer of internships and online training programs. The Trustees and Staff of the Medici Archive Project would like to express their thanks to the Society for the Study of Early Modern Women for recognizing the work of our research program, to Jane Fortune for her generous intellectual and financial support of its endeavors, and especially to Dr. Sheila Barker and her interns and research assistants for their superb work in this vitally important field of early modern historical research.

Map Staff
November 18, 2015


Wednesday, 18 November 2015: 18:00-19:00

University of California EAP, ACCENT Study Center
Piazza Santo Spirito 10, Florence

RSVP by 16 November 2015
For more information:

A Roundtable discussion celebrating the Oxford University Press publication of
A Corresponding Renaissance: Italian Women's Letters 1375-1650,
translated and edited by Lisa Kaborycha

Alessio Assonitis, Medici Archive Project, Florence (Moderator)
Steven Botterill, University of California, Berkeley
Sarah Matthews-Grieco, Syracuse University in Florence
Maureen C. Miller, University of California, Berkeley

Letters—whether personal notes, diplomatic correspondence, or formal epistles—are unique sources of historical information. In this roundtable discussion we will consider how historians can make use of such sources, exploring what they reveal of the lives, thoughts, and feelings of early modern women. The focus will be on letters written between the fourteenth through the seventeenth century by women from all parts of the Italian Peninsula. The women whose letters were selected for inclusion in this anthology were of every social class and exercised a wide variety of professions, among them are: nuns, saints, scholars, singers, actresses, duchesses, wives, wet nurses, poets, painters, and courtesans. Some of the letters deal primarily with personal matters concerning the family, with discussion of business transactions, illnesses, and education of children and so on. Other letters are concerned with the wider world of politics, warfare, and dynastic successions. Whether written deliberately as literary works intended for publication like the familiar letters of Pietro Aretino or as simple private communications, considered together the whole spectrum of early modern women’s correspondence has the potential to reveal aspects of their lived realities, which are often hidden from the historical record.



Thursday, 17 December 2015: 17:00
Villa I Tatti - Gould Hall (Click here for more information)

John Henderson

This seminar examines the central role of the Lazaretto in the campaign against the last major epidemic of plague to affect Florence in 1630–33. It seeks to re-assess how far the isolation of the sick in Lazaretti, often trumpeted as a vital contribution of Italian public health policy, really did help to mitigate the impact of plague, when compared with simply shutting-up people in their houses, more common to northern Europe. The aim will be to recreate the lives and often tragic events of these institutions and above all of the major Lazaretto in the city at S. Miniato al Monte. Emphasis will be placed on the experience of the personnel who worked there, based on a wide range of written, visual and written records, and above all on the almost daily correspondence between their directors and members of the city’s Health Board, or Sanità.



Wednesday, 23 September 2015: 18:00
Kunsthistorisches Institut in Florenz Max-Planck-Institut - Palazzo Grifoni Budini Gattai
Via dei Servi 51, Florence

John Henderson

On the occasion of the Summer School "Art of Healing. Hospitals in Italy in the Early Modern Era":

The hospitals of medieval and renaissance Italy were the concrete embodiment of physical and spiritual healing. These complementary functions were reflected in the construction of some of the largest and most impressive buildings in Italian cities, which also became important centres for the patronage of leading contemporary painters, sculptors and manuscript illuminators. Fine studies have been done of Italian hospitals' medical role and thestyle and content of individual works of art in these institutions. However, as I shall underline in this lecture, few historians have attempted to examine the way in which hospitals’ devotional objects and more broadly their material culture reflected their dual mission in curing the body and the soul.

MAP CONFERENCE: Artemisia Gentileschi: Interpreting New Evidence, Assessing New Attributions
(see program)

Organized by the Jane Fortune Research Program on Women Artists.
Galleria Palatina and The British Institute, Florence, 6-7 May 2015
Keynote Address: Mary D. Garrard “Identifying Artemisia: the Archive and the Eye”

(see program)

Senate House, London: 5 May 2015, 9:30 - 17:30

Hosted by the School for Advanced Study, University of London, this is the final event of the ESF-funded Network for Digital Methods in the Arts and Humanities ( which has been chaired by the UK from 2011-15. The event will review the lessons that have emerged from the work of NeDiMAH and other current initiatives in the UK and elsewhere, but will also look forward to key emerging challenges and opportunities.

Alessio Assonitis will be participating at the roundtable on creativity and cultural heritage

(download program)

Università Ca' Foscari (Aula Mario Baratto), Venezia: 15 April 2015, 10:00 - 17:30

Piergabriele Mancuso, who has co-organized this conference with Giovanni De Zorzi, will be delivering a paper entitled: Mi-mizrah u me-ma'arav ('Da oriente e da occidente'): la musicologia ebraica e la 'scoperta' del Levante mediterraneo

(download program)

Institut d'Études Avancées de Paris: 3 April 2015, 2:00
Hôtel de Lauzun, "Salle de Gardes", 17 quai d’Anjou, 75004 Paris

Brian Sandberg will be hosting a workshop on BIA entitled: Digital Humanities Approaches to Renaissance Studies

LECTURE: “Self-Fashioning a Cultural Persona: News, Objects and Books in the (Digital) Archive of  Cosimo I de' Medici, 1537-1574”

Monday, 23 March 2015: 12:45
Department of Policy Analysis and Public Management, Bocconi University
Room 3.e4.sr03 - Via Roentgen, 1, Milano
Alessio Assonitis

LECTURE: “Keeping Women off the Streets. The Gendering of Public Space Since the Renaissance”

Organized by the Jane Fortune Research Program on Women Artists.
Monday, 9 March 2015, 17:00 University of California EAP, Piazza Santo Spirito 10, Firenze
Sheila Barker

CONFERENCE: SPLENDID ENCOUNTERS III: Diplomats and Diplomacy in the Early Modern World
(download program)
Sponsored by the European University Institute, the Medici Archive Project, and the Premodern Diplomats Network: European University Institute: Fiesole, 5 & 6 March 2015

Thursday, 5 March 2015
Department of History and Civilization, Villa Schifanoia, “Sala Europa"
16.00 - Presentation
Digital Humanities & Early Modern Diplomacy
Samuel Morrison Gallacher

(download program)
A Collaborative Symposium of The Israel Young Academy and The German Young Academy | Jerusalem, February 17-19, 2015
Tuesday, 17 February 2015
18:00 Keynote Address
Big Data vs. ‘Slow Data’: The Medici and the Future of Early Modern Archives
Alessio Assonitis

(download program)
European University Institute: Fiesole, 11-13 February 2015
Thursday, 12 February 2015
Historical Archives of the European Union, Villa Salviati
11.45-13.15 Session 6 - Digital Archives
The Medici Archive: Private Collection and Public Use
Alessio Assonitis

Alessio Assonitis
March 7, 2015

The following scholars have been selected as the 2015 Samuel H. Kress Fellows at the Medici Archive Project.

Hannah Wirta Kinney is a DPhil candidate in History of Art at Oxford University. Her dissertation, “Reproducing History: Moulds, Models, and Ideas of Patrimony in Seventeenth and Eighteenth-Century Florence," explores the circulation of copies of sculpture in a range of materials from bronze to sugar. She received her MA in 2014 from the Bard Graduate Center with a thesis on the Doccia factory's full-scale porcelain casts after antique sculpture. She completed her BA at Sarah Lawrence College in 2008. In addition to her work on Florentine sculpture, Hannah has an interest in the use of new media forms for museum interpretation and scholarly publication. As a MAP fellow she will be primarily researching the ritual of obtaining a license for the casting of sculpture in the Grand Duke's possession.

Victoria Addona is a PhD student in the History of Art and Architecture at Harvard University, where she is completing a dissertation on the collaborative practices and pedagogical activities at the Medici court architect Bernardo Buontalenti’s informal school. She completed a BA in Art History at McGill University in 2010, and received an MA in Art History and Theory from the University of British Columbia in 2012. Her MA thesis focused on the concepts of pictorial illusionism and architectural license as evinced by the painted facades in Cinquecento Venice. She has interned at the Peggy Guggenheim Collection and the Gabinetto Disegni e Stampe degli Uffizi, and will hold a visiting fellowship at Villa I Tatti in Spring 2016.

Map Staff
October 17, 2014

EMW: the Society for the Study of Early Modern Women recently honored Sheila ffolliott with a “Lifetime Achievement Award.”  She just completed her term as President and Past President of the Sixteenth Century Society and Conference and has just assumed the Presidency of the American Friends of Attingham, which supports the work of The Attingham Trust, a British educational trust that organizes specialized residential courses to study British country houses, their collections and settings, and the history and contents of British royal palaces.