News

James S. Ackerman, original member of Villa I Tatti's selection committee, dies on December 31, 2016

James S. Ackerman, original member of Villa I Tatti's selection committee, dies on December 31, 2016

January 4, 2017

Prominent architectural and art historian James Ackerman died on December 31, 2016. Born in San Francisco in 1919, Professor Ackerman was Arthur Kingsley Porter Professor of Fine Arts at Harvard until his retirement in 1990 and became a member of I Tatti’s Selection Committee during the early 1960s, remaining on the committee for nearly thirty years. 

The Walter Kaiser Reading Room Fund

A project to reevaluate and revitalise one of I Tatti's most significant spaces in memory of Walter Kaiser.

In honor of this Director to whom fellowship and the sharing of knowledge meant so much, the largest single space in our library will be renamed the ‘Walter Kaiser Reading Room’. Read more

What we do

what we doI Tatti is dedicated to advanced research in any aspect of the Italian Renaissance. Read more

Upcoming Events

Jan 26

2017 Bernard Berenson Lectures on the Italian Renaissance: Lecture 1

6:00pm

Location: 

Gould Hall
Body Politics in the Italian and Spanish Renaissance
Victor I. Stoichita, University of Fribourg 

This lecture series deals with the belief in the power of the gaze in Renaissance art and culture and with the impact of this belief on artistic representation. 

Lecture 1: Giotto: the Eye and the Gaze.

The first lecture – a prologue – explores the power of the gaze motif and its roots in the Arena Chapel in Padua. 

Feb 16

2017 Bernard Berenson Lectures on the Italian Renaissance: Lecture 2

6:00pm

Location: 

Gould Hall
Body Politics in the Italian and Spanish Renaissance
Victor I. Stoichita, University of Fribourg 

This lecture series deals with the belief in the power of the gaze in Renaissance art and culture and with the impact of this belief on artistic representation. 

Lecture 2: Faces and Shields

The second lecture focuses on Renaissance portraits as settings of optical conflicts. If the portrait exhibits the person, how can it be protected? 

Click here for a full list of upcoming events

Recent Publications

Success and Suppression: Arabic Sciences and Philosophy in the Renaissance
Hasse, Dag Nikolaus. 2016. Success and Suppression: Arabic Sciences and Philosophy in the Renaissance. Harvard University Press. Publisher's VersionAbstract

The Renaissance marked a turning point in Europe’s relationship to Arabic thought. On the one hand, Dag Nikolaus Hasse argues, it was the period in which important Arabic traditions reached the peak of their influence in Europe. On the other hand, it is the time when the West began to forget, and even actively suppress, its debt to Arabic culture. Success and Suppressiontraces the complex story of Arabic influence on Renaissance thought.

It is often assumed that the Renaissance had little interest in Arabic sciences and philosophy, because humanist polemics from the period attacked Arabic learning and championed Greek civilization. Yet Hasse shows that Renaissance denials of Arabic influence emerged not because scholars of the time rejected that intellectual tradition altogether but because a small group of anti-Arab hard-liners strove to suppress its powerful and persuasive influence. The period witnessed a boom in new translations and multivolume editions of Arabic authors, and European philosophers and scientists incorporated—and often celebrated—Arabic thought in their work, especially in medicine, philosophy, and astrology. But the famous Arabic authorities were a prominent obstacle to the Renaissance project of renewing European academic culture through Greece and Rome, and radical reformers accused Arabic science of linguistic corruption, plagiarism, or irreligion. Hasse shows how a mixture of ideological and scientific motives led to the decline of some Arabic traditions in important areas of European culture, while others continued to flourish.