Since 2016, SACI has been involved in new collaborative projects with renowned museums in Florence, such as the Galleria dell’Accademia and il Museo del Bargello. In response to concerns expressed by the administrators of both museums, students in Museology and Design courses at SACI conducted on-site research analyzing the types of visitors, the visitor flow within the museums, and various issues connected to these factors. From this analysis, they developed several graphic design projects aimed towards improving the museums’ wayfinding signage systems to better handle the flow of visitors, as well as the general branding and visual identity of the museums in their communication efforts.
SACI has also developed additional collaborations with museums in the Florence and Prato areas involving multiple classes from SACI’s design department. Il Museo degli Innocenti, il Museo Salvatore Ferragamo and il Museo del Tessuto in Prato are just a few of the museums involved. In each case, our students and instructors work on concrete projects based on the needs of the museum in question.
From 2005 to 2015, in collaboration with the Museo Archaeological Nazionale di Firenze and with the Soprintendenza ai Beni Archaeologici della Toscana, students in the Conservation of Archaeological Artifacts course at SACI restored three Picenean tombs and their rich content. As of April 2015, the tomb of Novilara (7th c. BCE) is on permanent display at il Museo Archaeologico Nazionale in a new wing of the museum dedicated to the contextualization of archaeological findings. The exhibition of this restored tomb allows the public to get an up-close look at the culture of the Picenean civilization, a lesser known contemporary to the Etruscan civilization.
In 2017, in collaboration with the Soprintendenza Archaeologia Belle Arti e Paesaggio of Siena, Grosseto and Arezzo, the Polo Museale della Toscana, and Florida State University, the objects of the Etruscan excavation site in Cetamura, restored in large part by SACI’s restoration students, were displayed at il Museo Archaeologico Nazionale di Firenze in the show “I pozzi delle meraviglie. Nuove scoperte a Cetamura del Chianti” (Wells of Wonders. New Discoveries at Cetamura del Chianti). In 2004, SACI also collaborated with the il Museo Archaeologico for the organization of an exhibition of ancient Mongolian bronze pieces, which came from the collection of Arthur M. Sackler in New York.
In 2013, SACI began a series of restorations of the mural paintings of Teatro della Pergola, such as the “Antichi Quartieri” – (antique, frescoed apartments made available to actors, their families, and other theater personnel) – and wooden objects such as antique stage designs and the famous large wooden model of the theater.
From 1995 to 2006, SACI students and instructors completely restored, under the supervision of the various superintendents involved, the church of Santa Maria degli Angeli Conservatory on Via della Colonna. The restoration included all oil paintings (by Francesco Curradi, Matteo Roselli, Domanico Puligo), mural paintings (by Francesco Sacconi e Giovanni Maria Ciocchi), and stuccos (by Giovanni Battista Ciceri), woods, fabrics, etc. The church was reopened to the public in all of its baroque splendor in November 2006 – a project that cost over 200,000.00 Euros. A rich volume portraying the ten years of restoration was published by the EDIFIR publishing house in 2006.
SACI encourages students to immerse themselves in volunteer activities that benefit the city. Our students have worked as volunteers for the following organizations: Gli Anelli Mancanti, a Florentine association that organizes language courses for immigrants; la Fondazione Angeli del Bello, for the care and decorum of the city; Ars et Fides, an association of volunteer guides that offers free guided visits in the renowned churches of Florence; Fili e Colori, a daily therapy center.
The organization of conferences and symposiums, such as “Painted Optics” in September 2008 that included the participation of English artist David Hockney and attracted a large audience. The event allowed the public to hear from art historians (Mina Gregori, John Spike, Roberta Lapucci) and scientists (Charles Falco from the University of Arizona, Filippo Camerota from the Istituto e Museo e Storia della Scienza di Firenze and Claudio Pernechele from the Istituto Nazionale di Astrofisica) of international renown. Another mini-convention on “Caravaggio nascosto nella luce” in October 2009 produced great interest for the groundbreaking thesis presented at the event (an exploration of the use of the photographic procedures by Caravaggio in his works). In 2016, SACI organized an important symposium with the theme “From Galileo to Mars: Renaissance of the Artsciences” which involved renowned participants including Dava Newman, Deputy Administrator of NASA, and astronauts Nicole Stott and Paolo Nespoli. The symposium was open to the public and held at the Odeon Cinema in Florence with the support of the Comune di Firenze, the Regione Toscana, the US Consulate General of Florence, and sponsored by Dainese.