Committee to Rescue Italian Art

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The Committee to Rescue Italian Art was an American committee whose mission was to lend aid to Italian institutions in their own efforts to rescue the cultural heritage damaged by the 1966 flood of the Arno river. Jacqueline Kennedy assumed the Honorary Presidency of the organization. Professor Millard Meiss of the Institute of Advanced Study at Princeton chaired the Committee working with members of the executive committee. CRIA's members included art and architecture historians such as Bates Lowry, Fred Licht, Millard Meiss, Frederick Hartt, Sidney J. Freedberg, James Ackerman and Rudolf Wittkower, as well as historians and linguists such as Paul Oscar Kristeller, Felix Gilbert and Myron P. Gilmore. All were intellectuals with close ties to Florence and to Italy who had long studied its culture through original sources and documents.

There were three general headquarters of CRIA in its six years of activity: an office in New York at 717 5th Street, where Bates Lowry supervised work and spent the bulk of his time fundraising, (from both large donors and smaller appeals in universities and schools) and two offices in Florence, the ground floor of Palazzo Pitti and Villa I Tatti.

CRIA Advisory Committee selected works of art to adopt with the funds raised by CRIA. Thanks to CRIA's assistance, monuments, paintings, library materials and manuscripts were restored at a cost of two and a half million dollars, roughly the sum that the committee had originally set out to raise.

From the description of Papers, 1966-1973. (Harvard University). WorldCat record id: 444734830

The Committee to Rescue Italian Art (CRIA) was an American committee created in the wake of the 1966 flood of the Arno River and high tides in Venice. CRIA worked in partnership with Italian institutions to rescue and restore all types of cultural heritage that had been damaged. Leadership included Jacqueline Kennedy, the Honorary President of the organization, and Professor Millard Meiss of the Institute of Advanced Study at Princeton, whom chaired the Executive Committee. CRIA’s members included art and architecture historians such as Bates Lowry, Fred Licht, Frederick Hartt, Sidney J. Freedberg, James Ackerman and Rudolf Wittkower, as well as historians and linguists such as Paul Oscar Kristeller, Felix Gilbert and I Tatti's own director, Myron P. Gilmore. All were intellectuals with close ties to Florence and to Italy who had long studied its culture through original sources and documents.There were three general headquarters of CRIA in its six years of activity: an office in New York at 717 5th Street, where Bates Lowry supervised work and spent the bulk of his time fundraising (from both large donors and smaller appeals in universities and schools) and two offices in Florence at Palazzo Pitti and Villa I Tatti. The Committee successfully campaigned to raise its target goal of 2.5 million dollars. These funds were then used to restore countless works of art, including monuments, paintings, manuscripts and library materials as selected by the CRIA Advisory Committee.

While the I Tatti records are organized in a similar fashion as that of the Palazzo Pitti offices – divisions reflecting the main categories of the Italian system of Soprintendenze – the subject matter is less financial and more scholarly in nature. Files include restoration reports and a large group of photographs, the latter of which were formerly housed in the Berenson Fototeca.

From the guide to the Committee to Rescue Italian Art, Papers: Villa I Tatti., 1966-1973, (Biblioteca Berenson, Villa I Tatti - The Harvard University Center for Italian Renaissance Studies)

The Committee to Rescue Italian Art (CRIA) was an American committee created in the wake of the 1966 flood of the Arno River and high tides in Venice. CRIA worked in partnership with Italian institutions to rescue and restore all types of cultural heritage that had been damaged. Leadership included Jacqueline Kennedy, the Honorary President of the organization, and Professor Millard Meiss of the Institute of Advanced Study at Princeton, whom chaired the Executive Committee. CRIA’s members included art and architecture historians such as Bates Lowry, Fred Licht, Frederick Hartt, Sidney J. Freedberg, James Ackerman and Rudolf Wittkower, as well as historians and linguists such as Paul Oscar Kristeller, Felix Gilbert and I Tatti's own director, Myron P. Gilmore. All were intellectuals with close ties to Florence and to Italy who had long studied its culture through original sources and documents.There were three general headquarters of CRIA in its six years of activity: an office in New York at 717 5th Street, where Bates Lowry supervised work and spent the bulk of his time fundraising (from both large donors and smaller appeals in universities and schools) and two offices in Florence at Palazzo Pitti and Villa I Tatti. The Committee successfully campaigned to raise its target goal of 2.5 million dollars. These funds were then used to restore countless works of art, including monuments, paintings, manuscripts and library materials as selected by the CRIA Advisory Committee.

The CRIA office in Palazzo Pitti was opened in the first days of 1967 after the American fundraising campaign had begun. To facilitate the distribution of funds and accommodate American restoration experts newly arrived in Florence, CRIA decided to establish an office in the city center. The Committee chose a ground-floor space in the Palazzo Pitti that opened onto Ammannati’s courtyard and hired Judith Munat as secretary. The records produced by this office are mainly financial and consist largely of invoices. Records related to the first months of CRIA’s activity is presented in its original chronological order. After this early period records are arranged according to the different restoration projects for which the Committee raised funds.

From the guide to the Committee to Rescue Italian Art, Papers: Palazzo Pitti Office., 1966-1873, (Biblioteca Berenson, Villa I Tatti - The Harvard University Center for Italian Renaissance Studies)

Archival Resources
Role Title Holding Repository
creatorOf Committee to Rescue Italian Art. Papers, 1966-1973. Biblioteca Berenson, Villa I Tatti - The Harvard University Center for Italian Renaissance Studies
referencedIn Papers of John Coolidge and Agnes Mongan, 1909-2006 Harvard Art Museums. Archives
referencedIn Kristeller, Paul Oskar, 1905-1999. Paul Oskar Kristeller papers, 1910-1989. Columbia University in the City of New York, Columbia University Libraries
referencedIn Paul Oskar Kristeller Papers, 1905-1998 [Bulk Dates: 1941-1997] Columbia University. Rare Book an Manuscript Library
referencedIn University of Virginia. Cocke Hall. Exhibition Gallery. Miscellaney from various exhibits held in the Cocke Hall Exhibition Gallery. [manuscript], 1961-1967. University of Virginia. Library
creatorOf Zeri, Federico. [A collection of material related to the Florence flood of Nov. 4, 1966 and damage to art works]. Frick Art Reference Library of The Frick Collection
creatorOf Committee to Rescue Italian Art, Papers: Palazzo Pitti Office., 1966-1873 Biblioteca Berenson, Villa I Tatti - The Harvard University Center for Italian Renaissance Studies
referencedIn R. Philip Hanes Papers, 1928-2010 David M. Rubenstein Rare Book & Manuscript Library
creatorOf Committee to Rescue Italian Art, Papers: Villa I Tatti., 1966-1973 Biblioteca Berenson, Villa I Tatti - The Harvard University Center for Italian Renaissance Studies
creatorOf Committee to Rescue Italian Art. Correspondence with American Musicological Society, 1966. University of Pennsylvania Libraries, Van Pelt Library
creatorOf Committee to Rescue Italian Art. Institutional file. Brooklyn Museum Libraries & Archives
referencedIn Lowry, Bates, 1923-. Motion Picture film documenting the Committee to Rescue Italian Art, 1966. Archives of American Art
Role Title Holding Repository
Relation Name
associatedWith Ackerman, James S. person
associatedWith Ackerman, James S. person
associatedWith Archivio di Stato di Firenze. corporateBody
associatedWith Baldovinetti, Alesso, 1425-1499 person
associatedWith Bandinelli, Baccio, 1493-1560 person
associatedWith Biblioteca nazionale centrale di Firenze. corporateBody
associatedWith Brooks, Curtis B person
associatedWith Brunelleschi, Filippo, 1377-1446 person
associatedWith Buontalenti, Bernardo, 1536-1608 person
associatedWith Cappella Pazzi (Santa Croce (Church : Florence, Italy)) corporateBody
associatedWith Chiostro del Brunelleschi (Florence, Italy) corporateBody
associatedWith Cigoli, Ludovico Cardi da, 1559-1613 person
associatedWith Cimabue person
associatedWith Clarke, Ashley, 1903-1994 person
correspondedWith Coolidge, John, 1913-1995 person
associatedWith Cope, Maurice E., 1926- person
associatedWith Daddi, Bernardo, fl. 1327-1348 person
associatedWith Donatello, 1386? -1466 person
associatedWith Freedberg, S. J. 1914-1997. person
associatedWith Freedberg, S. J. (Sydney Joseph), 1914-1997 person
associatedWith Fumiani, Giovanni Antonio, ca. 1645-1710 person
associatedWith Gabinetto fotografico (Florence, Italy) corporateBody
associatedWith Gabinetto scientifico letterario di G.P. Vieusseux . corporateBody
associatedWith Gabinetto scientifico letterario G.P. Vieusseux. corporateBody
associatedWith Gentileschi, Orazio, 1563-1638? person
associatedWith Ghirlandaio, Domenico, 1449-1494 person
associatedWith Giambologna, 1529-1608 person
associatedWith Gilbert, Felix, 1905-1991. person
associatedWith Gilmore, Myron Piper, 1910- person
associatedWith Giotto, 1266? -1337 person
associatedWith Graffione, Giovanni, 1455-ca. 1527 person
associatedWith Hanes, R. Philip, 1926- person
associatedWith Istituto e museo di storia della scienza (Italy) corporateBody
associatedWith Kristeller, Paul Oskar, 1905-1999. person
associatedWith Liberi, Pietro, 1605-1687 person
associatedWith Licht, Fred, 1928- person
associatedWith Loggia del Bigallo. corporateBody
associatedWith Lombardo, Tullio, ca. 1455-1532 person
associatedWith Lowry, Bates, 1923- person
associatedWith Meiss, Millard. person
associatedWith Munat, Judith. person
associatedWith Museo archeologico di Firenze. corporateBody
associatedWith Museo dell'antica casa fiorentina (Italy) corporateBody
associatedWith Ognissanti (Church : Florence, Italy) corporateBody
associatedWith Onassis, Jacqueline Kennedy, 1929-1994. person
associatedWith Opera di S. Maria del Fiore (Florence, Italy) corporateBody
associatedWith Orsanmichele (Church : Florence, Italy) corporateBody
associatedWith Palazzo Pitti. corporateBody
associatedWith Piazzetta, Giovanni Battista, 1682-1754 person
associatedWith Polzer, Joseph person
associatedWith Polzer, Joseph. person
associatedWith Saint Cecilia Master, fl. 1290-1320 person
associatedWith Santa Croce (Church : Florence, Italy) corporateBody
associatedWith Schulz, Juergen, 1927- person
associatedWith Shell, Curtis person
associatedWith Shell, Curtis. person
associatedWith Tribolo, 1500-1550 person
associatedWith Uccello, Paolo, 1397-1475 person
associatedWith Unesco. corporateBody
associatedWith University of Virginia. Cocke Hall. Exhibition Gallery. corporateBody
associatedWith Vasari, Giorgio, 1511-1574 person
associatedWith Veronese, Paolo, 1528-1588 person
associatedWith Villa I Tatti (Florence, Italy) corporateBody
associatedWith Wittkower, Rudolf. person
Place Name Admin Code Country
Italy--Florence
Subject
Sculpture, Italian--Conservation and restoration
Books--Conservation and restoration--Italy--Florence
Manuscripts--Conservation and restoration
Painting, Italian--Conservation and restoration--Italy--Florence
Floods--Italy--Florence
Manuscripts--Conservation and restoration--Italy--Florence
Mural painting and decoration--Conservation and restoration--Italy--Florence
Art, Italian--Conservation and restoration
Art, Italian--Conservation and restoration--Italy--Florence
Floods
Painting, Italian--Conservation and restoration
Books--Conservation and restoration
Mural painting and decoration--Conservation and restoration
Occupation
Function

Corporate Body

Active 1966

Active 1973

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