Women in the Arts

A Century of Women in the Arts: 1866-1966 covers the artistic, literary, scientific and political contributions of both local and foreign women with historical attachments to the Tuscan capital. Through blended lectures held at the British Institute Library and guided offsite visits to museums, galleries and foundations through the centre, A Century of Women in the Arts will introduce participants to works of art, archival materials and publications authored by women who loved Florence. Lectures can be followed in person, or online via zoom. Blended lectures are held and broadcast from the British Institute library on Monday, Wednesday and Friday afternoons, while visits are conducted on Tuesday and Thursday afternoons throughout Florence’s historic centre.


Provisional Programme:


MON 04 JUL 16:00 – 17:30 CET

Course Introduction; Women of the British Institute

This lecture will establish the scope and contents of the course and offer a survey of the British Institute Archive’s special collections of nineteenth-century and twentieth-century material devoted to individuals and families with a particular connection to Florence, including English travellers passing through the city on tour, and others whose long-term residence led them to be known as the Anglo-Florentines.


TUE 05 JUL 16:00 – 17:30 CET

Historical walk: The Florence they knew

This visit will offer an historical and topographical introduction to Florence’s centre, with particular emphasis on the lasting itineraries established for foreigners during the Age of the Grand Tour, as well as the social and urban modernisation of Florence during the second half of the nineteenth century as documented by travel writers and visitors in the early years of national unity.


WED 06 JUL 16:00 – 17:30 CET

1866-1886: Nation and Capital

This lecture will examine the iconographic vocabulary of Risorgimento Italy, the role of Florence as second national capital (1865-1871) and the appropriation of history and genre painting traditions as promoted by the Accademia delle Belle Arti and local authorities in constructing a national identity for the Italian State.


THU 07 JUL 16:00 – 17:30 CET

VISIT: The Galleria d'Arte Moderna at Palazzo Pitti

This visit will encompass a range of different artistic techniques and major stylistic currents and personalities of 19th- and early 20th-century Tuscan painting through the collection of the Modern Art Gallery at Palazzo Pitti, including Élisabeth Chaplin, Adriana Pincherle, Leonetta Cecchi Pieraccini and Fillide Giorgi Levasti.


FRI 08 JUL 16:00 – 17:30 CET

1886-1906: Beyond the Victorians

This lecture will highlight the role of resident women as artists, collectors, travel writers and art historians in late nineteenth-century Florence including, Vernon Lee, Maud Cruttwell, Mary Berenson and Emma Bardini through surviving correspondences and diaries preserved in local Florentine archival holdings including the British Instittue Archive, the Archivio Storico Eredità Bardini and the Historic Archives of Harvard University Center for Renaissance Studies at Villa I Tatti.


MON 11 JUL 16:00 – 17:30 CET

1906-1926: Foundations of Feminism

This lecture will consider the social, artistic and literary scene of Florence in the early year of the Twentieth century through the art and writings of British futurist Mina Loy during her ten-year residence in Florence, including the publication of her landmark Feminist Manifesto of 1914, as well as the later cultural impact of the Great War and important early milestones of Women’s Suffrage in the UK and Italy.


TUE 12 JUL 16:00 – 17:30 CET

VISIT: The Villa Bardini and Forte di Belvedere

This visit will explore the summer exhibit: FOTOGRAFE! enriched with two sections dedicated to the holdings of the Alinari Archives: sisters Wanda Wulz and Marion Wulz as well as that of Edith Arnaldi (1884-1978), known above all as a writer and artist of the Futurist area under the pseudonym of Rosa Rosà, made possible by the support of Calliope Arts.


WED 13 JUL 16:00 – 17:30 CET

1926-1946: Heroes

This lecture will reimagine the setting of Florence during the rule of the National Fascist Party from the perspective of women artists, activists, partisans and constituents that all contributed to the Italian Republic, including Lola Costa, Rita Levi Montalcini, Natalia Ginzburg, Anna Maria Enriques Agnoletti, Giulietta Fibbi and Teresa Mattei.


THU 14 JUL 16:00 – 17:30 CET

VISIT: The Fondazione Bisonte

This visit will explore the legacy of Maria Luigia Guaita, author of Prato Prize winning Resistance memoir Storie di un anno grande and, following her study of lithography under Anna Redpath in Edinburgh, founder of printstudio Il Bisonte in Florence through a guided tour of the Foundation and the printmaking studios still operating in the historic stables of the Palazzo Serristori.


FRI 15 JUL 16:00 – 17:30 CET

1946-1966: New histories

This lecture will chart the reconstruction of Florence following the Second World War, a time when many of its civic institutions and artistic and scholarly traditions were maintained by pioneering women directors, art historians and educators including Nerina Simi, Luisa Banti, Anna Banti, Maria Luisa Bonelli Righini, Margherita Hack and Paola Barocchi.


Single Sessions in Florence (90 MIN) 44.50
FULL COURSE: 10 Sessions in Florence 445
Single Sessions Online 20
6 Sessions Online 120