Dr. Jane Fortune lives part-time in Florence, the city whose art, history and culture inspires her work as an author: she is the cultural editor of the city’s English-language newspaper, The Florentine, and has written four books, Invisible Women: Forgotten Artists of Florence (2009), and To Florence, Con Amore, 77 Ways To Love The City (2007: enlarged in a 2nd edition, released in May, 2011, To Florence, Con Amore, 90 Ways To Love The City), and When the World Answered: Florence, Women Artists and the 1966 Flood (2014). Both Invisible Women and When the World Answered have been made into critically acclaimed PBS documentaries, the latter winning an Emmy Award for Best Documentary in the Cultural/Historical Program category in 2013.
Her cultural activities and philanthropic work, carried out on two continents, were recognized in 2010 by Indiana University when it awarded her an honorary Doctorate in Humane Letters. She has served on several museum boards and is currently on the Board of Governors of the Indianapolis Museum of Art and is on the National Advisory Boards of both the National Museum of Women in the Arts, Washington DC, and the Indiana University Art Museum, Bloomington, IN. She is also on the Dean’s Advisory Board of Herron School of Art and Design, Indianapolis, and is a founding member of the Women’s Philanthropy Council at Indiana University, Bloomington, IN.
In 2008, she received the Indiana University Purdue University Indianapolis (IUPUI) Spirit of Philanthropy Award, as the Herron School of Art and Design Honoree, and in 2007 Indianapolis Mayor’s Advisory Council on Disabilities, Accessibility Award for her exceptional commitment to furthering accessibility, and inclusion, to persons with disabilities for a program she created, and funded, at the Indianapolis Museum of Art.
She founded, and chairs, two not-for-profit foundations dedicated to identifying and restoring works of art by women, invisible works that have languished in the storages of the Florence Museums for centuries — Advancing Women Artists and The Florence Committee. At the Medici Archive Project, she spearheaded the creation of the Jane Fortune Program for Archival Research on Women Artists in the Age of the Medici and oversees this program’s activities.