News & Events

News & Events

Magna Carta exhibition

On July 1, the Museum of the Bible invited the Washington Patrons to a private VIP preview tour of the exhibition, Magna Carta: Justice. Liberty. The exhibition features the Hereford Cathedral Magna Carta, the King’s Writ sent from Runnymede Field in 1215, and the Sandwich Magna Carta, seen by Thomas Paine in 1759, among other important documents and historic artifacts.
After the tour, there was a reception with the officials from Hereford Cathedral, the British Embassy, the exhibition curators, and other special guests. 

 

Posted on July 14, 2021

RESTORATION PROJECT COMPLETED

We are proud to announce the completion of our restoration project, the Croce Astile, a Tuscan crucifix which was sponsored by the Washington, DC Chapter. Thanks to your generosity, beautiful artifacts like this will remain a vibrant example of the beauty and artistry of the Vatican Museums. 

Final Restoration Report

The Croce Astile is part of the Baroque collection which became part of the Vatican Museums collection in 2007, thanks to the donation of Carlo and Lucia Barocchi. The work is the fruit of Tuscan silversmiths. According to the information that we have, it would seem that the cross, the crucifix, and the graft with the globe belong to different periods.

The cross is made of gold-plated, silver-plated copper alloy. What differentiates this work from the most common processional crosses is the lack of a wooden supporting element, replaced by a sheet of silver-plated copper alloy with the ends of the two orthogonal poly-lobed arms.

An iron bayonet, welded to the lower end of the longer arm, in turn, is in the socket of the silver element. The ten gilded frames, five on each side, give volume and importance to the cross and the riveted pins attach the two faces of the bearing plate.

On the front of the cross is the figure of Christ, realized in silver and of excellent workmanship. At the top is a traditional scroll and in the lower part above the poly-lobed tile is a skull. On the back there are no inserted figures. The laboratory only noticed the presence of a hook in the upper part.

The Intervention

The objective of the restoration targeted the removal of the dark areas that cover the greater part of the work. In particular, these areas cover the light of the small model of the realization of Christ finely realized by expert hands.

After the preliminary documentation of the cross, restorers moved on to the disassembly of all constituent elements. In order to do this, it was necessary to remove the old metal pins that held the parts together. Restorers then used polar solvents, such as acetone and ethyl alcohol, to remove the old protective layer and the layer of organic substances.

They removed the brown patina, probably composed of silver sulfides, by means of complexing agents and a mechanical action with micronized calcium carbonate and demineralized water. The degree of hardness of this product prevented in-depth action and therefore fully respected the patina of the silver. The laser welder (Mark-uno 7500) restored the detached parts. At the end of the cleaning process, all the parts were thoroughly rinsed with demineralized water. Then a dehydration process took place and the usual procedures followed.

At the end of the restoration intervention, there was an application of protective film (ZAPON in acetone 30% p/p) to keep the surface’s tone, light, and brightness as long as possible.

In the substitution of the old pins in metal, removed during the phases of the disassembly of the work, the laboratory realized through 3D software that the new pins are from two elements. After being molded in castable resin, the pins are of copper alloy casting.

This new assemblage system is important because it does not require a deconstruction of the cross, which will be helpful for eventual new restoration interventions in the future.

Removing the old metal constraints

Castable resin pin printing and the new pins made of copper alloy

Constructed elements of the cross

Front and back of the cross after the restoration

Posted on May 24, 2021

Posted on December 25, 2020

NEW INSIDERS COURSE

Please join us on a four semester journey of faith and beauty that will take you behind the scenes to explore the history of provenance, patronage, and restoration of the Vatican Museums collection as never before recounted by the Curators themselves.

This four semester Insiders Course will explore four overarching themes:
● The Origins and Mission of the Vatican Museums (October 2020 – January 2021)
● The Papal Apartments: Popes, Patrons and Prophets (February – May 2021)
● The Age of Collectionism and The Grand Tour (September 2021 – January 2022)
● Pinacoteca to Modern: A Tour in the History of Faith and Beauty (February – June 2022)
 
Each monthly module includes: 
● PAVM Insiders Video featuring the Museums’ Curators and Restorers – available on demand at the beginning of each month
● Masters Lecture Series – live Zoom webinar on the 2nd Saturday of the month at 3 PM EST
● Coffee in the Vatican Museums: Q+A with the Director and Curators – live Zoom webinar on the 3rd Thursday of the month at 10 AM EST
 
It is possible to register for: 
● All Four Semesters/Two Years (October 2020 – June 2022)*
$ 500 (For current Patrons)
$ 2,900 (Non-Patrons)
 
● The First Two Semesters (October 2020 – May 2021)
$ 260 (For current Patrons)
$ 1,500 (Non-Patrons)
 
● First Semester (October 2020 – January 2021)
$ 175 (Semester for current Patrons)
$ 800 (Non-Patrons)
 
Deadline for Registration: October 14, 2020
 
*Upon the completion of the four semesters, a special Vatican certificate will be earned.
 
More information can be found on the Insiders Course brochure (download PDF) and our website patronsvaticanmuseums.org 

You can also Click Here to Register.
 
If you have any issues with registration, please contact:
Denise Molitsky
North American Service Office Coordinator
denise.pavm@gmail.com
+1 (312) 534-531

 

Posted on October 9, 2020

New Restoration Project

ASTILE CROSS

 
The Board of Directors of the DC Patrons is proud to announce the adoption of a new project for 2020: The Astile Cross. Your generous donations, by being members of the Patrons of the Arts, has made the restoration of this artifact possible.

The Astile Cross is part of a collection of thirty-seven objects – including processional and altar crosses, altar cards, chalices, monstrances, incense boat, holy water fonts – contributed to Carlo Barocchi’s generous personal gift to Pope Benedict XVI.

Sold by the Pope to the Vatican Museums (June 2007), the precious silvers enrich the collection of the Decorative Arts Department. From the moment of the acquisition, the department prepared an inventory, accurate photographic campaign and the revision of the conservation status of all the artifacts, including a structural verification, cleaning and restoration interventions.

The processional cross in embossed silver and gilded copper (Tuscan silversmith, XV century?), with crucifix in silver fusion (XVIII century) and polylobed elements without decoration, is one of the ancient liturgical furnishings of the Carlo and Lucia Barocchi Collection (Florence).

 

Posted on July 13, 2020

Raphael and His World

Father Lixey and his staff have been working hard to keep the Patrons informed and engaged during this world-wide crisis.

Although, we as Patrons, cannot physically go to Rome and visit the Museums or engage in any local Patron activities, Father Lixey and the New York Chapter have created a 4-week virtual lecture series available to our Patrons, “Raphael and His World,” led by Professor Elizabeth Lev.

If you are interested, please see the PDF in this link for details of the Zoom meeting. We hope you can join us in this wonderful lecture series!

Posted on April 25, 2020

Restoration project completed

We are pleased to announce the completion of our current restoration project! The wonderful statues and objects in the Chiaramonti Gallery Wall XIV have regained their beauty and splendor thanks to the generosity of our Chapter.

The works of art were treated with cleaning methods aimed at the specific type of problem. Here are some pictures of the restoration process and the final result:

Posted on March 8, 2020

PATRONS TOUR OF THE BIBLE MUSEUM

On Sunday, December 8, the DC Patrons held a local event with a VIP Tour of the Bible Museum in Washington, DC.

The tour was highlighted with the unveiling of a sculpture created by Timothy Schmalz entitled “Silent Night”. Tim focuses on religious figures and also has many public pieces. One was recently installed at St. Peter’s Basilica in Rome and another at St. Matthew’s Basilica in Washington, DC.

The tour continued with a visit to the exhibit Inventors of the Alphabets from the Vatican Library. This is the first time they have been displayed outside the Vatican Walls.

Our next stop was The Tapestry of Light: Intersection of Illumination. This exhibit shows a contemporary glow-in-the-dark tapestry of epic scale using the Book of Revelation for inspiration. This unusual work of art was created by artist Dr. Irene Barberis over a period of 20 years.

A new exhibit is The Picture Books of the Past, a collection of paintings from the 14th to 19th century. The medieval Church used pictures as a tool to convey Bible stories. The curator did an outstanding job of pointing out key images enabling the viewer to “read” and understand the paintings.

Following a brief coffee break, our day concluded with a visit to Washington Revelations, an exciting 4 minute “flight” through the Nation’s capital pointing out the Bible’s influence on American Culture.

The Bible Museum is located at 400 4th Street, SW, and welcomes all denominations and all who believe in the Bible.

Please see the Bible Museum Image Gallery for pictures of our wonderful tour.

Posted on December 17, 2019

ANNUAL DINNER 2019

The Patron’s Annual Dinner was held December 7th at the Apostolic Nunciature, graciously hosted by His Excellency, Archbishop Christophe Pierre.

The evening began with a delightful cocktail party and a chance to reconnect with old friends and make new ones.

CEM Martin welcomed everyone, including special guests:
His Excellency, Apostolic Nuncio, Archbishop Pierre, and
Father Kevin Lixey, International Director of the Patrons of the Arts in the Vatican Museums.

His Excellency welcomed our group and had kind remarks for our patronage to the Vatican.

The slate of officers for 2020 was proposed to the group and they were unanimously approved:
President: CEM Martin
Vice President: Art Lohsen
Secretary: Judy Martin
Treasurer: Ron Marchessault

After a lovely three-course meal, we were inspired by remarks made by Father Lixey, explaining the importance of the Patrons to the Vatican Museums and the crucial role they play in the restoration and preservation of the countless treasures in the Vatican. There is so much that has been accomplished, but the long list continues for many years to come! Therefore it is very important that we continue to fulfill our mission with our members.

President, CEM Martin, encouraged the members to consider serving on committees or the Board, to become more involved, and to help us to grow our chapter in the coming year.

Judy Martin presented the 2020 Chapter Trip to Rome and invited everyone, including family and friends, to consider joining the trip in May. The deadline for reservations is January 30, 2020. Please see the website for details.

Thank you to everyone who attended! It was a wonderful evening and we were delighted to share it with you.

Please see the Annual Dinner 2019 Image Gallery for some pictures of the event!

Posted on December 16, 2019

YOU ARE INVITED TO A SPECIAL PATRON’S EVENT!

The Washington Chapter of the
Patrons of the Arts in the Vatican Museums
has arranged a private tour of the

Museum of the Bible

Sunday, December 8th
1:45 pm

Patrons and their guests will have the opportunity for a VIP tour of the Museum of the Bible.
Due to space limitations, we must limit the tour to the first 20 to respond.
The tour will take approximately 2 hours. We will meet at the Museum of the Bible,
400 Fourth Street, SW in Washington DC.
An entry fee of $35 includes entry to the Museum, the private tour, the Revelations Ride, and refreshments in the Members’ Lounge following the tour.
Please make your payment via check or via our website prior to the tour.

Museum Tickets

Please RSVP to patrons@francklohsen.com
or by calling (202) 223-9449 by November 26th.

Posted on November 7, 2019