20 new museum supermanagers nominated in Italy
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20 new museum supermanagers nominated in Italy

Following an international call last year (see our reports here and here), the new “supermanagers” of Italy’s top 20 museums were announced on August 18, 2015. The group is composed of 10 men and 10 women – including 7 foreigners from the EU (3 German, 2

Tue 18 Aug 2015 10:00 AM

Following an international call last year (see our reports here and here), the new “supermanagers” of Italy’s top 20 museums were announced on August 18, 2015. The group is composed of 10 men and 10 women – including 7 foreigners from the EU (3 German, 2 Austrian, 1 UK, 1 France) and 4 Italians returning from working abroad. Their average age is 50, with the youngest (assigned to Paestum) only 34 years old. Culture minister Dario Franceschini declares that with this move, the country’s museums, which are currently decades behind, are turning over a new leaf. The new positions are part of a reform of the structure of the Mibact (Ministry of Arts) that is to give financial independence to these 20 museums.

Eike Schmidt, the new director of the Uffizi. Image credit Dan Dennehy, Minneapolis Institute of Arts


Making waves in Florence is the election of German art historian Eike Schmidt to the Uffizi, displacing incumbent Antonio Natali. Schmidt, 47 years old, received his PhD in 2009 from Ruprecht-Karls-Universität di Heidelberg and worked in Florence 1994 to 2001 as a researcher and assistant to the director at the Kunsthistorisches Institut. He’s been a curator at the National Gallery of Art in Washington and leaves his position as the James Ford Bell Curator of Decorative Arts and Sculpture at the Minneapolis Institute of Arts to lead the Uffizi Gallery.


A German scholar is also at the head of the Accademia Gallery: Cecilie Hollberg, 48 years old, a specialist in medieval history and director, since 2010, of the Städtisches Museum of Braunschweig.


Paola D’Agostino, new director of the Bargello Museum


43-year old Naples native Paola D’Agostino has been appointed to direct the Bargello Museum. She earned her doctorate in modern art in Naples, with periods spent in London at the Courtauld Institute of Arts and University College London. Since 2013 she has served as the Nina and Lee Griggs Assistant Curator of European art in the Yale University Art Gallery, and she was a Senior Research Associate in the department of European sculpture and decorative arts at the Metropolitan Museum of Art.


Florentines will now have a familiar friendly face in Milan, as Fondazione Palazzo Strozzi Director James Bradburne is now Director of the Brera Museum.

To follow is a complete list with brief biographies of all the appointed managers:


National Gallery of Modern and Contemporary Art, Rome

Cristiana Collu, 46. Born in Cagliari, she earned her doctorate in Museum Studies in Madrid. From 2012 until 2015, she directed the MART-Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art in Trento.


Accademia Gallery, Venice

Paola Marini, 63, A Verona native, since 1994 she has directed the civic museums and monuments for her home city, also managing the Gallery of Modern Art at Palazzo Forti. 


Capodimonte Museum, Naples

Sylvain Bellenger, 60. A native of Valognes, in Normandy, Bellenger earned his doctorate at the École du Louvree at the Sorbonne, going on to serve as the curator of European painting and sculpture at the Cleveland Museum of Art. Since 2012 he has been the department head of medieval and modern European painting and sculpture at the Art Institute of Chicago. He has also worked with the Getty Foundation, the National Gallery of 
Art in Washington DC, at Yale University and at Palazzo Farnese, among others.  


Royal Palace of Caserta

Mauro Felicori, 63. Since 2011 he has directed the Economic and Promotions Department of the City of Bologna. He previously directed the civic museums of Bologna and the civic libraries, among other institutions.


Galleria Estense, Modena

Martina Bagnoli, 51. Bagnoli earned her Ph.D. at Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore and went on to work in medieval manuscripts at the Walters Art Museum. She has a long experience in American museums, including the National Gallery of Art in Washington D.C.


National Gallery of Ancient Art, Rome

Flaminia Gennari Santori, 47. Born in Rome, she has worked at the Vizcaya Museum and Gardens in Miami as vice-director and curator. She was also a research fellow at the Metropolitan Museum of Art.


National Gallery of Le Marche, Urbino

Peter Aufreiter, 40. An Austrian who earned his degrees in art history and Germanic philology, he managed loans, deposits and exhibitions in the library of Vienna’s Belvedere Museum. He has also worked at the Kunsthistorisches Museum and the Sigmund Freud Museum.


National Gallery of Umbria, Perugia

Marco Pierini, 49. A Siena native with a background in archaeology, he directed the Civic Gallery of Modena from 2010 to 2014. Prior to that, he directed the Contemporary Art Center at the Palazzo delle Papesse in Siena. He is a journalist and the author of numerous scientific publications.


National Archaeological Museum, Naples

Paolo Giulierini, 46. This scholar of Etruscan studies earned his degree at the University of Florence. He has directed the Etruscan Academy Museum in Cortona since 2001. 


National Archaeological Museum, Reggio Calabria

Carmelo Malacrino, 44. An archaeologist and architect who studied in Florence before going on to the Italian School of Archaeology at Athens. Since 2010 he has been an architectural history researcher at the Meditteranean University in Reggio Calabria.


National Archaeological Museum, Taranto

Eva Degl’Innocenti, 39. At the University of Pisa, she studied conservation of cultural heritage with an emphasis on archaeology. Since 2013, the Pistoia native has served as the director of cultural heritage and of the museum and the interpretation center at the French institution Coriosolis. She was a researcher and project manager at the National Museum of Medieval Art in Paris and has overseen numerous archaeological excavations in Italy and Tunisia.


Archaeological Park, Paestum

Gabriel Zuchtriegel, 34. A German specialized in classical and prehistoric archaeology and Greek philology. He has conducted numerous archaeological excavations in Italy and abroad, and is an adjunct professor of Archaeology and Greek and Roman Art History at the University of Basilicata.


Palazzo Ducale, Mantua

Peter Assmann, 61. Austrian. After earning his doctoral degree in Innsbruck, he studied and worked in Florence at the Deutsches Kunsthistoriches Institut. From 2002 to 2012 he was the President of the Association of Austrian Museums, and he also directed the Oberösterreichischen Landenmuseen in Linz and the Angerlehner Musem in Thalheim bei Wels.


Palazzo Reale, Genoa

Serena Bertolucci, 48. In 2010 she became the director of Villa Carlotta, museum and botanic garden on Lake Como, where she has been working since 2004. She has studied and worked in Germany and the United States.


Polo Reale, Turin

Enrica Pagella, 58. She currently works at the Fondazione Torino Musei, where since 2003 she has directed Palazzo Madama e Borgo Medievale. She previously directed the Civic Art Museum of Modena. 

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