The Uffizi Gallery of Florence, Italy was the star of the show last night at the Friends of the Uffizi’s lecture event graciously hosted by RoboVault the ultra secure automated storage facility (the only facility of its kind in the US). Gordon A. Lewis, Jr., advisor to the Friends of the Uffizi and the Vice President of the Fine Arts Conservancy in Palm Beach, presented a fascinating lecture on the damage the Uffizi has faced since WWII and the dedicated individuals who have worked endless hours over decades to preserve and restore the treasures inside the world famous gallery. No stranger to art preservation, protection and restoration methods, Susan McGregor, President and General Manager of RoboVault, also a board member of the Friends of the Uffizi, provided hors d’oeuvres and cocktails for her guests and had a special surprise in store for them. After Mr. Lewis’ lecture, Susan showcased RoboVault’s capabilities with a different type of Italian masterpiece, a Lamborghini. Guests watched in awe as the Automated Retrieval system went to work, moving the car to its appropriate place within the vault.
A work by Emilio Isgrò – yet another donation of the Amici degli Uffizi to the Gallery – has joined the self-portrait collection.
I was fortunate to be staying in Florence while this new achievement of our sister organization Amici degli Uffizi was presented on May 16, 2014.
It was really exciting to be invited by our President, Countess Maria Vittoria Rimbotti, to the very crowded press conference in San Pier Scheraggio for the official donation to the Uffizi Gallery of the work created in 1971 by conceptual artist Emilio Isgrò, titled “Dichiaro di non essere Emilio Isgrò” (I declare not to be Emilio Isgrò).
Isgrò is one of the most important contemporary artists, famous for portraying himself “by subtraction” and self-denial. This donated work consists of an installation of seven sheets of silkscreen paper, on which the artist quotes statements pronounced by himself or by his family and denying his own identity.
After the presentation, I joined the group of friends of the museum milieu, for a Luncheon hosted by Countess Rimbotti in the garden of her Villa in honor of the artist.