Ancient Sienese books at the City Archives

Visiting the City Archives of Siena to see highlights of their collection, including ancient books and scrolls.  The space itself makes palpable the volume and weight of the city’s history and the burden of trying to conserve it.   The archive staff was able to share with us a glimpse of the distinctive marks created by the individual scribes to certify their work, and discussing the various materials used to create these historic pieces.

For more info: http://www.archiviodistato.siena.it/museo/

Tempo Zulu Project Proposals

Looking at students’ proposals for the Tempo Zulu Intro Unit project, creating site-specific interventions within the city streets of Siena.

For our post about the introduction of this project unit, visit:

You can follow the activities of our students in the Spring 2019 semester Art and Society course through the blog listings of “Spring 2019” category, and through their profile pages listed here:

Meeting master stone-carver Maestro Frati

We had the very special experience to meet master stone-carver Maestro Frati and to see his studio space in front of Siena’s synagogue, just around the corner from Piazza del Campo. Maestro Frati is truly a living part of the city’s history, and a master artisan. He works with a wide range of marble stones, and it was fascinating to see the marble slabs stacked up in his studio, as well as examples of his work which demonstrate the skill he has developed over many decades.  Maestro Frati also carved the stones which are part of the Tempo Zulu site-specific contemporary interventions within Siena’s city streets, and he is the master-carver to make any conservation/restoration work in the inlaid stones of Siena’s cathedral, which we visited on Monday.  Maestro Frati also makes his own artisanal designs, of which he has some examples in his studio, such as a glowing lamp created with stone slabs.  At the end of our visit, we visited the Osteria Le Logge, where one of Maestro Frati’s works is on display in the window.

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Forme Instabili at Spazio Siena

Today we visited the current contemporary art exhibition at Spaziosiena, “Forme Instabili” with our studyabroad students from the Siena Art Institute &Siena School for Liberal Arts. A really interesting exploration of the concept “unstable forms” in a great venue for cultural activities here in the historic center of Siena.
For more info: http://www.spaziosiena.com/…/forme_instabili_guglielmo_cas…/

Visiting the Ceramic Studio Bianco e Nero

Surrounded by the colors of Siena, our study abroad students got to meet the family of Sienese artisans at the ceramic studio Bianco e Nero di Staccioli Sonia, right around the corner from the city’s cathedral. Thanks so much for taking the time to speak with us today!

For more info about the ceramics studio Bianco e Nero di Staccioli Sonia visit their websites:  www.biancoenero.it  www.sienapottery.it

Exploring the cabinets of curiosities at the Fisiocritici Museum

Just down the block from the Siena Art Institute here in the city’s historic center, we visited the Fisiocritici Museum to explore their cabinets of curiosities.  The Accademia de’ Fisiocritici was founded in 1691, and their museum showcases diverse collections, packed with all kinds of objects and specimines in antique cabinets with handwritten labels: it’s a museum that belongs in a museum!