Tuesday, May 9, 2017

Advancing Women Artists Foundation Reaches Goal For Restoration Of The Last Supper By Plautilla Nelli

Mark Gordon Smith of Private Italy Tours made a sizeable donation in memory of his mother, artist Helen D. Smith that put AWA over their crowdfunding goal

Advancing Women Artists Foundation has announced they have reached the $65,000 crowdfunding goal to restore the sixteenth-century 'Last Supper' by Florentine convent artist Plautilla Nelli. This is the only work in the world on this theme painted by a woman, and it will now be returned to its ‘original dignity’ thanks to contributors from all over the world.

409 donors from 19 countries contributed. Their awareness became a concrete gesture of love. Thanks to the $66,810 dollars raised, the AWA Foundation and its restoration team can work together to safeguard this fundamental example of female artistic talent. Nelli’s work, discussed by Italy’s first art historian Giorgio Vasari in his 'Lives', is being restored to its rightful place among Renaissance Italian masters. 'This Last Supper' will be a gift to Florence, Nelli’s beloved home city. Once conservation is completed, it will be permanently displayed in the soon-to-be revamped Museum of Santa Maria Novella, an iconic location in the heart of Florence, a place which represents all the beauty and culture of one of the world’s best-loved art capitals.

AWA extends heartfelt thanks to all those who have worked so tirelessly to remember the forgotten women artists in history. They have supported a campaign which enormously benefited from the efforts of our dedicated partners. On the Florence scene, a special mention goes to Dario Nardella Mayor of Florence, Florentine actress Elena Sofia Ricci and the city’s Councilor for Welfare of Equal Opportunity Sara Funaro, in addition to the city’s Civic Museum Services, in charge of curating the conservation efforts. We share this ‘victory’ with FLOD, the communications agency that curated the entire campaign and our ‘prize partners’: the Medici Dynasty Show, Casa dell’Orafo Nerdi, the artisanal perfumery AquaFlor, Palazzo Spinelli, the Savoy Hotel of Rocco Forte Hotels and The Florentine, Florence and Tuscany’s English-language newspaper.

Mark Gordon Smith, President of Private Italy Tours LTD, kicked the campaign over the goal with a sizeable donation made in memory of his mother, artist Helen D. Smith. Following a diagnosis of cancer when the family was living in Tirrenia in the 1950s, she had to return to the United States and was never able to return to her beloved Italia.

"Our donation,” Mark explains, "is made with the hope that all women will be inspired by the story of a dedicated artist whose genius is just now coming to light, whose love of craft created such a legacy."

About AWA:

As stated on their website, "Advancing Women Artists Foundation, an American not-for-profit 501(c)(3), is committed to identifying, restoring and exhibiting artwork by women in Florence’s museum storages. As of today, compelling artistic treasures continue to be a silent, undiscovered part of the city’s creative heritage. Through education (lectures, books, seminars, and conferences) and by exhibiting these works in Florence and abroad, it will be possible to show this vital cultural legacy and its importance in Florence, in Italy and to the world."


Linda Falcone, Director, Italy
Advancing Women Artists Foundation