Two Artists, Two Cities, Two Icons
A dialogue between Rome and New York City
The exhibition currently on display at the Weisman Museum of Art, “Capturing Change: The Urban Images of Berenice Abbott and Giovanni Battista Piranesi”, offers a rare opportunity to admire the works of two masters, twentieth century American photographer Berenice Abbott and eighteen century Italian engineer, archeologist and artist Giovanni Battista Piranesi. The works from Abbott’s publication “Changing New York” and from Piranesi’s “Vedute di Roma” are rarely on display at the Weisman.
Berenice Abbott photographed New York City in the 1930s while Piranesi created his etchings of Rome in mid-1700. Both artists saw these two cities with unfamiliar eyes as Abbott was from Ohio and Piranesi was a citizen of the Republic of Venice. One can say that their “foreignness” allowed them to recognize iconic architectural and urban elements of Rome and New York City, which helped create an imagery of the two cities that remains in our collective mind to this day.
“Changing New York” (1929-39) by Berenice Abbott is still regarded as the most important photographic portrait of any American city. “Vedute di Roma” (1747-78) by Giovanni Battista Piranesi created a perception of Roman antiquity lasting to our own time.
The tour is in English and will be led by Lorella Angelini. It will take place on Wednesday, October 12 from 6:00 to - 7:15 p.m. Participants will meet at the Weisman’s check-in desk.
Lorella Angelini, a native of Pesaro in the Marche region of Italy, has been living and working in Minneapolis for the last 20 years. She holds a graduate degree in Civil Engineering from Marche Polytechnic University and specialization in Marketing from SDA Bocconi in Milan. Deeply passionate about art, Lorella has built her art knowledge through a long-term collaboration with the Weisman Museum of Art and the Walker Art Center. Lorella is currently a tour guide with the Weisman Museum of Art.
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Left: Berenice Abbott, Murray Hill Hotel: Spiral, 112 Park Avenue, Manhattan, 1935, gelatin silver print. Weisman Art Museum purchase.
Right: Giovanni Battista Piranesi, Teatro di Marcello (The Theater of Marcellus), 1757, etching on paper. Weisman Art Museum purchase.