This “secret garden” at Palazzo Te is the topic of one of the talks

In December 1999 I presented my masters thesis at Syracuse University in Florence‘s Villa Rossa. And every year since then I have tried to attend the annual symposium that showcases the graduate students’ work. The 2010 crop struts its stuff this coming Friday December 3d from 3:30 pm onwards and it’s open to the public – the school likes to give back to the community this way.

The SUF MA program involves a semester in Syracuse NY and a year in Florence, and it culminates in this thematic symposium to which each student contributes a 20 minute paper that fits the theme. As you can imagine, picking the theme (a full 11 months before) is perhaps the hardest part. SUF offers excellent training in writing and presenting these papers, and graduates come out generally very able to give conference papers, a gift I’ve been using ever since.

The 24th annual symposium is on the theme of Renaissance Gardens: Rooted in the Renaissance: Italian Gardens and Their Legacy. The programme is as follows.

BRYAN C. KEENE Agony in the Garden: Locating Christ’s Prayer in Italian Renaissance Painting

CAITLIN ELIZABETH SWEENEY “A Garden of Singular Beauty”: The Design of Isabella d’Este’s giardino segreto

MELANIE C. HONOUR Cultivating Aesop: The giardino segreto at the Palazzo del Te [see photo above]

SARAH J. DZIAMBA The Gardens at the Casino di San Marco During the Reign of Francesco I de’ Medici

MARGARET ANN CONTOMPASIS A Cardinal Entertains: Theatrical Experience in the Aldobrandini Garden at Frascati

TOWNSEND ZIEGLER Modern Renaissance Design: Cecil Pinsent’s Gardens at Villa I Tatti

Villa Rossa, Piazza Savonarola, 15 Florence, Italy – 3:30pm, reception to follow.

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