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Don’t miss The Art of Diplomacy: The Garretts in Rome, opening at JHU’s Evergreen Museum & Library on Sunday, March 6th. Organized by Museums and Society senior and Evergreen Student Curator Kit Harris, the exhibition focuses on the years that John and Alice Garrett were in Rome while John was the US Ambassador to Italy. The show explores how the Garretts used their status within Roman society to further an exchange between the art worlds of the two nations. Kit will speak on the subject and her experience as student curator in her Curator’s Talk at 2 pm. (more)

As Evergreen Student Curator, Kit has worked on this exhibition since June 2010. Her responsibilities included researching the history of the Garrett family, selecting objects to tell their story, writing text panels, and organizing the museum space. Kit shared, “As a double major in History of Art and International Studies (with a minor in Museums [and Society]) this topic just jumped out at me! The opportunity to merge my two interests was really exciting. There's a lot of material to work with—it’s a very rich time in the Garretts' history. The correspondence and Alice's magnificent scrapbooks helped to paint a really complete picture of the exhibition.”

“I focus on the ways in which they both used their position within Roman society and the great resource of the Embassy to promote a cultural exchange between Italy and America. I'm highlighting paintings in the collection that they collected while in Italy. I have also pulled a lot of great materials from the archives at MSE, from both John's personal and professional papers and Alice's papers. I am installing little "vignettes" throughout the house, each one a story in and of itself, which all told together will show how much the Garretts worked for the cause of art and culture. The sections are: Appointment and Diplomacy in the Reading Room, Art & Culture at the Embassy in the Drawing Room, the Venice Biennale in the Front Hall, General Culture in the Den, Alice's Role in Alice's Bathroom, Entertaining in the Dining Room, and the Legacy of their years in Rome in the Library. Some interesting things I am including are the diplomatic china, two paintings purchased at the 1932 Venice Biennale, John's diplomatic passport, and photos of the interior of the Embassy in Rome with paintings from Evergreen hanging on the walls.”

The show will be up through May 29th, 2011. If you are interested in the Evergreen Student Curatorship you can find more information here.

Katie Johnson

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