Center for the Art and Architectural History of Port Cities
La Capraia, Naples

A partnership between The Edith O’Donnell Institute of Art History and the Museo e Real Bosco di Capodimonte, Naples


Pierre-Jacques Volaire, Eruption of Vesuvius, oil on canvas, 1769, Naples, Museo di Capodimonte.

One of the world’s oldest cultural centers and one of the largest ports in Europe, the city of Naples is a node in a cultural and economic network that spans the Mediterranean and beyond.

The history of art in Naples is one of encounter, exchange, and resistance, of rupture and unexpected convergence. It is above all a story of movement: of people, artworks, and forms, of technologies, traditions, and ideas.

The complexity and dynamism of Naples’s history invites collaborative study across disciplines, and challenges us to envision new histories of art that range across geography, chronology, and medium.

A new partnership between the O’Donnell Institute and the Museo e Real Bosco di Capodimonte will take Naples as a laboratory for collaborative art historical research that traces the global stories of artworks across time, place, and culture, while grounded in the on-site study of works of art.


Image: Claudio Metallo

Center for the Art and Architectural History of Port Cities / Centro per la Storia dell’Arte e Architettura delle Città Portuali at La Capraia, Naples

In 2018 the Museo di Capodimonte in Naples and the Edith O’Donnell Institute of Art History at the University of Texas at Dallas will open the Center for the Art and Architectural History of Port Cities / Centro per la Storia dell’Arte e Architettura delle Città Portuali.

Housed within the museum’s bosco in an eighteenth-century agricultural building called La Capraia (the goat farm), the Center will be dedicated to on-site study of art and architecture in Naples, with emphasis on the cultural histories of port cities and the mobilities of artworks, artists, and technologies.

While focused on Naples, research at the Center will inform understanding of port cities and cultural centers throughout the world, from antiquity to the present.

 


Real Fabbrica di Capodimonte, Salottino di Porcellana, painted and gilded porcelain and stucco, 1757-1759. Naples, Museo di Capodimonte.

Partners

The Center for the Art and Architectural History of Port Cities is a partnership between the Edith O’Donnell Institute of Art History and the Museo e Real Bosco di Capodimonte, with the collaboration of the Université Paris-Sorbonne.


Programs

The Center for the Art and Architectural History of Port Cities at La Capraia will house three programs: Research Residencies for students and scholars; regular site-based Research Workshops as well as a larger symposium every two to three years; and an Open-Access Digital Publication called New City / Nuova Città.

Together, these programs will support scholarly access to Naples, foster new research on Naples and on other port cities, create a network of students and scholars working on related projects, and communicate new research to the academic and museum communities and to the public.


2017 Symposium

In October 2017, the O’Donnell Institute and the Museo di Capodimonte launched the new Center for the Art and Architectural History of Port Cities with a three-day symposium that set Naples and the Capodimonte in a global context.


Sarah Kozlowski, Assistant Director, The Edith O’Donnell Institute of Art History, The University of Texas at Dallas