Imagine three weeks where you will live and breathe the art of Florence, birthplace of the renaissance, and enjoy its lively social life, fashion and exquisite cuisine. Through this course, students experience Florentine culture first-hand, not only through visits to cultural institutions such as museums and libraries, but as well through a program of total immersion in the life of Florence, a city where life and art are inseparable. The program begins with a walking architectural tour of Florence - your first opportunity to explore and interact with the city. Perusing the daily schedule below, you will see at once the rich array of activities and visits that we have planned for your educational enrichment and cultural journey. At the beginning of the course, we all meet for a class dinner - and so our journey begins.
Course Project: A Thematic Exhibition Catalog
Project Methodology - a creative, interactive and organic process involving object selection, photographing objects, object and topic research and analysis. This process of "knowledge construction" will lead students to discover new ideas and perspectives which will be expressed in their project. In using reserach to document the objects y selected the following sites might be helpful:
Boston University Libraries
UC Berkeley - How to Reserach a Work of Art -
Project Description -
Each student is required to produce a course project. The project takes the form of an exhibition catalog for which the exhibit theme / topic is based on an aspect of Florentine art and culture and importantly, on individual experience and observation. Students should choose their theme by the beginning of the second week by which time you will have had a chance to experience and interact in ways that will inspire and guide your topic selection. This process will motivate and propel your project. A key point is that your work moves from the specific to the general, that is, from selected objects to topic formation. From museum tours and lectures you will see the way in which museum curators think about and discuss art and how they describe and talk about works or art bringing their individual perspectives placed social and cultural contexts.
Each student is required to produce a course project. The project takes the form of an exhibition catalog for which the exhibit theme or subject is based on some aspect of Florentine art and culture and importantly, on the student's individual experience and observation. Students should choose a theme/topic by the end of the first week by which time students will have had a chance to experience and interact wiht Florentine art in ways that will inspire and guide their topic selections. A key point is that project work moves from the specific to the general, from selected objects to the topic formation. We encourage students to produce a digital exhibition catalog.
Week 1. During
the first week, students will begin to formulate a theme / topic for
their research project. Topics will evolve from visits to
museums, libraries and monuments during which students will
identify paintings, sculpture, architecture and or other artifacts that
speak to them , inspire them and are linked thematically to express a
Week 2. Once students have
identified some of their objects and related theme, they will submit
their topic to the instructor for discussion and approval. This
accomplished by the beginning of the second week. Some examples
of themes in Florentine art might be: aspects of the male or female
figure, Medici women, ceremony, conflict, design elements in
Submitting the Project.
Because there will not adequate time to do library research while you are in Florence, you will have until the end of 3rd week of July to complete your project.
Pratt SILS Florence Summer Program
May 21-June 19, 2010
- Biblioteca Nazionale
Centrale di Firenze
FLORENCE - ONLINE RESOURCES
A general guide to Florence
Virtual Florence Tour
Professor Witcombe presents an extensive outline of the Italian Renaissance consisting of links to art works, cultural institutions, churches, artists, architects, sculptures, etc.
Florence libraries and museums.
Union Catalog of consortium of libraries in Florence
Virtual Uffizi - Complete Catalog of the Uffizi Gallery -
Architecture of Florence
Florentine Illuminated Manuscripts
The museums of Polo Museale - Florence
History of Italy - Primary Documents
Medici Archives Database - Archives houses at the Archivo di Stato in Florence
The Prince by Machiavelli - from Project Gutenberg
Florence Archives List
The Italians, by Luigi Barzini - unique look
at the people, customs and unique features of
A Short History of Italy from
Classical Times to Present Day, by H. Hearder & DP Waley - A good
Italian Villas and Palaces, by Georgina
Masson - The various architectural designs of the Italian masters
Brunelleschi, Michelangelo, Della Robbia, Vasari, Raphael, itc., are
represented in the study of over 95 palaces and villas in
Brunelleschi’s Dome, by
Curriculum Perspectives - Professor Caradonna.
The encounter with the city, a place foreign and yet familiar, profound and contradictory, is intended to place Florentine design within a frame for documentation and collection and creative curation.
The program undertakes an intensive study of the city's architectural, artistic and cultural history, providing the student with experiential insight into the precedents that have had an enormous impact on the development of art, architecture and design in the western world.
field trips to institutions and sites in
In the five years
that the program has been offered, it has always been intended that the
Emphasis is placed on Florentine design, and documentation, inventive and creative selection and collection and curation as a critical tool for analytical consideration of and as a condition of within the existing, historical and contemporary context.
The program also includes a three credit course in which places its emphasis on "seeing" Florentine Art & Design in a more intense way and developing critical visual abilities.
The course initially focuses on survey and analysis of historic models to reveal distinct design themes within heritage of Florentine design culture. First hand, on site study and documentation will allow students to explore a range of subjects in order to discover and construct thematic approaches to and the creative process of assembling a collection. Students will create a collection of ten art/design elements linked by a common theme. Studies will conclude with formal visual documentation and exhibition catalog/brief.
Guest lectures, site visits and workshops are an integral part of the program. Scheduled regularly and held on site in major monuments, state and private museums, archives and libraries, lecturers are selected from among important international historians, theoreticians, and librarians, and have included, in recent years Polomuseale, Itatti. encourage interaction between our students and the Florentine cultural community.
Digital camera is required to document your selection of art objects and places for your exhibition catalog.
Laptop computer - Notebooks & Sketchbooks - Whether you bring a laptop depends on how you wish to take notes and document your work.
Something to carry all necessary supplies including guidebook, maps, umbrella, hat, sunglasses, extra sweater or windbreaker & things purchased along the way.
Shoulder bags are convenient but vulnerable to "snatching". Backpacks are more secure but more difficult to access. Jackets with many pockets, like photographer's vests are useful yet have storage limitations. The minimalist approach would be to carry a foldable bag to carry items acquired along one's way. Belt packs are very convenient. Students should be aware of potential problems and make most appropriate choices.
Housing - Student apartments are provided
& Milligan Meals
packaged restaurants and shops. Consult Program
coordinator for names and addresses of the fairest and highest quality
Clothing & Personal Items
In June is generally mild and pleasant but gets progressively hot and humid as mid June arrives. Students will be doing a lot of walking in 3 week program. A good pair of sturdy, padded-sole shoes is recommended. Jogging shoes are fine but not useful or appropriate in all situations. Desert or hiking boots are appropriate if broken in before departure.
Italian culture includes a heightened sense of individual appearance as a form of communication. Students should be aware of the "message(s)" interpreted misinterpreted by their form of dress. Clothing and actions should be well considered in this context. Such precautions tend to increase levels of respect and safety between Italian residents and visitors. Students should be aware of cultural differences and be respectful and careful, including Florentine and Italian gender politics. Dressy clothes are not necessary, neatness and cleanliness are guidelines for dining out and visits to institutions and especially churches. In churches, long pants and skirts and long sleeves are usually required. Simple sports-jackets, button-down shirts, tie or scarf are fine. Italian style is comfortable but distinguished. Sunglasses are recommended as well as sweaters, robes, thick & thin socks for damp/cool apartment interiors.
Personal items - Although many of these items are easily acquired in Italy, time & money may be saved in bringing personal items from the U.S:Battery powered alarm clock
Toothbrush, comb, brush, razors
Travel sized toiletries
Personal toiletries [hygiene products, allergy relief products]
Digital cameras & battery recharges
Electrical transformers & Current Converter [Italian current is 22OV] (try B&H or Radio Shack)
Plug adapter[available also in Florence] (try B&H or Radio Shack for these)
Hair dryer [w/ built-in converter]
Travel iron [w/built-in converter]
Laundry Kit/Shoe cleaning kit
ipod - CD player/earphones
Money, Currency & Communication
At the time of the writing of this document, the Euro is worth about $1.32 US citizens are getting 75% value on their dollar. Budgeting travel, meals and lodging should be calculated this way. Moreover, summer season prices are higher from June to August than the rest of the year in major Italian cities.
Carrying an ATM debit card and removing cash directly from available machines in Euro may now be the most convenient and economical method of taking currency.
CARRY LARGE AMOUNTS OF CASH. It is recommended that
each student carry the amount of cash necessary for the trip to
Bancomat machines are the most readily accessible way to extract funds
from personal bank accounts based in the
what ANYBODY says, it is NOT POSSIBLE to open your own bank account in
transfers from bank to bank should not take more than three days, but
sometimes they have taken longer. If you wish to do
this, banks in
DO NOT PLAN TO CASH: MONEY ORDERS / PERSONAL CHECKS / BANK CHECKS requiring signature identification.
easy method to get cash is to use a Mastercard or a
Visa card with the bank name on it.
Country Code /
City Code /
Telephone Number :(7 or 8 digit number)
Your living accommodations may or may not include a telephone.
Public telephones accept plastic phone cards.
may also buy a European cell phone for the duration of the trip or
phones are 3Lband or GSM types that can be used both in
Function, iphones are the most up to date of technologies. Please consult these companies if you are interested in pursuing these options. The Institute, School and Program are not responsible for any information or errors in these areas.
Internet - Hotels may have internet access, the
convent does not.
Mail - Be aware
that first class letters between the
Express is not the prevailing carrier in
Post Offices are located:
Borgo Pinti (convent) and across the
Italiane SPA is a semi privately run government agency. Offices
are conveniently located
|(Florence Web site)|