Drs. Ann Wilkins and David Wilkins, two of the curators of the Sisters in Liberty: From Florence, Italy to New York, New York exhibition at the Ellis Island Museum of Immigration (October 18, 2019—April 26, 2020), will discuss Pio Fedi’s monumental Libertà della Poesia (1883) on the tomb of the Risorgimento author Giambattista Niccolini in the church of Santa Croce, in Florence.
The illustrated talk will emphasize the relationship between Fedi’s statue and Liberty Enlightening the World in New York Harbor (a.k.a. the Statue of Liberty) and discuss how these contemporaneous images of Liberty grew out of the struggles for self-determination that swept across Europe during the 19th century.
Ann Thomas Wilkins and David G. Wilkins are Senior Faculty at Duquesne University’s Rome Program. David is Professor Emeritus of the History of Art and Architecture at the University of Pittsburgh and Ann is retired from Duquesne’s Department of Classics. They were living in Florence during the Arno Flood of November 4, 1966, and have traveled around the globe, teaching, leading study tours, and exploring new and old examples of art and popular culture. They have authored/co-authored many articles and books, including Art Past/Art Present, A History of Italian Renaissance Art, The Big Book of Art, and Villain or Hero: Sallust’s Portrayal of Catiline. They provided entries for two recent guidebooks: City Secrets: Rome and City Secrets: Florence and the Hill Towns. Their most recent publication is Cass Gilbert’s West Virginia State Capitol.