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Thinking about Thinking in Rome: part five

I have the incredible privilege of spending four weeks at the American Academy in Rome as an Affiliate Fellow, representing the IMA. From time to time I hope to post some of my adventures and discoveries here. What a ride! (To read the rest of the posts in this series, click here.)


I had powerful motivation to recover at least most of my strength by Friday, Oct 16. Katharina, a young classicist from Columbia University, and I were scheduled to go on an excursion to see several castles and palaces with amazing gardens in the hill towns Northwest of Rome. I am very thankful to say that when Friday morning came, I did not feel feverish, my cough was manageable, and I bundled up for the trip in crisp fall weather.

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Castello Ruspoli

Katharina and I took a train from Termini Stazione to Orte, where professional garden tour guide Lisa Finerty met us at the train station, accompanied by another American expat, Julie. A few words about Lisa: She is a former Merrill Lynch executive, a master gardener and a garden activist. She’s done some fantastic work with schools and marginalized communities in Chicago. She has that combination of acute observation and quiet confidence that comes from working close to the earth. What a day we were in for! Read the rest of this entry »

Filed under: Art, Education, Travel

 

Thinking about Thinking in Rome: part four

I have the incredible privilege of spending four weeks at the American Academy in Rome as an Affiliate Fellow, representing the IMA. From time to time I hope to post some of my adventures and discoveries here. What a ride! (To read the rest of the posts in this series, click here.)

For me, life at the Academy settled into a rhythm that included some or all of these each day:
A morning jog in the amazing park of Villa Doria Pamphili;
Catching up on IMA-related business via email;
Audio-recording interviews for my project and conscientiously downloading these to more than one storage device;
Writing a crude attempt to outline ideas about thinking, language and sensory experience triggered by the interviews; and
Visits to the AAR library on deliberate quests, sometimes spiced up by fortuitous discoveries of books related to the ideas mentioned in the previous item.

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Filed under: Education, Travel

 

Thinking about Thinking in Rome: part three

I have the incredible privilege of spending four weeks at the American Academy in Rome as an Affiliate Fellow, representing the IMA. From time to time I hope to post some of my adventures and discoveries here. What a ride! (To read the rest of the posts in this series, click here.)

This is the project description that I sent to members of the Academy community, attached to an email inviting them to schedule an interview time with me:

3 October, 2009
Member of the Academy Community:

My name is Linda Duke and I am an Affiliate Fellow in residence at the Academy for four weeks, Sept. 28-Oct. 26, 2009. Back home, I serve as Director of Education at the Indianapolis Museum of Art. While in residence in Rome, I hope to collect from members of the Academy community descriptions of and reflections on their recent aesthetic experiences – with works of art, architecture and other design arts, gardens and thoughtfully-prepared food.

View from AAR balcony

View from AAR balcony

Volunteers will be invited to speak or write about whichever experiences they choose and may participate as many times as they wish. There are precedents for using language as a window into the types of thinking that are engaged (see below). In this project, it will be important to capture participants’ actual words, via audio recording or in written form. My interest is in examining what commonalities of critical and aesthetic thought might be found across the domains of art, design and culinary art. Read the rest of this entry »

Filed under: Education, Travel

 

Thinking about Thinking in Rome: part two

I have the incredible privilege of spending four weeks at the American Academy in Rome as an Affiliate Fellow, representing the IMA. From time to time I hope to post some of my adventures and discoveries here. What a ride! (To read the rest of the posts in this series, click here.)

September 30, 2009

This morning I went on an orientation tour of the library at the American Academy in Rome. It is a beautiful library, both conceptually and physically. Imagine sitting in small reading rooms next to wide open windows (no screens) that open onto idyllic Italian gardens. Imagine several floors of stacks that go down into a kind of crypt, and also those small, ladder-like circular stairways that lead to upper-level shelving. Imagine an aesthetic of contemporary simplicity and book preservation science in harmony with warm, traditional wooden desks and chairs. The cataloguing system is unique to the Academy, neither Dewey nor Library of Congress. The fellows and residents here have wonderfully generous access after they’ve taken the orientation tour.

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Filed under: Education, Travel

 

Thinking about Thinking in Rome: part one

I have the incredible privilege of spending four weeks at the American Academy in Rome as an Affiliate Fellow, representing the IMA. From time to time I hope to post some of my adventures and discoveries here. What a ride!

Sept. 26, 2009
Tomorrow I fly to Philadelphia; later that evening, I leave Philadelphia for Rome, Italy. The plan is for me to work on an interview project (more about that later) at the American Academy. This incredible opportunity is possible because the IMA is an institutional member of the Academy. That means the IMA is entitled to send a staff member for an Affiliate Residency of four weeks each year.

Tonight, after some fairly frantic days of preparation and with one whole suitcase full of voice recorders, cameras and various recharging and power adapting devices, the whole plan feels pretty fantastic and abstract. Someone just asked me where I’ll be at this time tomorrow night. I guess the answer is, “somewhere over the Atlantic.” Yikes! I’ll write again when I get to Rome.

from flickr user hum2000_8a

from flickr user hum2000_8a

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Filed under: Education, Travel

 

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